Automotive retail group AP Eagers (ASX: APE) expects a 3 per cent uptick to $101.2 million in net profit after tax (NPAT) for 2018, buoyed by a surge in December activity.
While profit after tax is set to be slightly down year-on-year at $133.7 million, it has exceeded the upper end of guidance by close to 3 per cent.
The company claimed the improved result compared to guidance was delivered by strong operating results for its car and truck retailing businesses, which both achieved record results in December.
The group, led by managing director Martin Ward (pictured), added the truck retailing business achieved record operating NPAT for the full year.
"This is a very strong full year operational result for the group considering the widely reported challenges within automotive retailing during 2018," AP Eagers said.
"The strong operational result offsets the previously flagged reduced gains on the sale of non-core operations and property, in addition to a decline in returns from the company's investments which includes a reduced dividend from Automotive Holding Group Limited."
The final result will be released in February following an audit.Never miss a news update, subscribe here. Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.
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