Eagers Automotive (ASX:APE) Posts Strong FY20 Numbers, Ropes in New CEO

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Summary

  • Eagers Automotive delivered a profitable result for the full-year 2020 despite the extremely challenging conditions caused by COVID-19.
  • APE has appointed Keith Thornton as its new CEO, who has been with the company for 18 years.
  • Mr Martin Ward, who was the company's CEO for 16 years, is transitioning to a new role.

The automotive industry is bouncing back from the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic with the demand for vehicles growing in many parts of the world.  

Australia's oldest listed automotive retail group Eagers Automotive Limited (ASX:APE) has released its performance card for FY20 ended 31 December 2020. Rebounding from historic lows during the onset of the pandemic, the group has delivered a robust full-year performance. Moreover, the Australian car retailing company has announced changes to its senior management team.

Eagers Automotive Appoints New CEO

APE has appointed Mr Keith Thornton as its new CEO, effective 24 February 2021. He has been with Eagers Automotive for 18 years and served as the company’s Chief Operating Officer since 2017.

Mr Martin Ward, who was the company's CEO for 16 years, is now transitioning to a new role. Retaining a significant shareholding, he will continue to play a valuable role in the company and serve as the Advisor to the Board and CEO. Mr Ward will also counsel the new CEO in order to ensure a smooth handover.

 

Source: APE ASX Update, dated 24 Feb 2021

Good read: Is Australian Automotive Industry Coming Back on Track?

Strong Performance in Challenging Market

Despite the pandemic-related challenges in FY20, the company registered strong full-year results, on the back of resurgence in new car sales. The results were also attributed to the effectiveness of APE’s omni-channel strategy in pre-owned vehicles in H2.

APE also progressed well on various strategic initiatives like divestments and unlocking value in its property portfolio.  

2020 Financial Highlights:

  • Revenue from continuing operations was AUD 8,749.7 million. 
  • Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and impairment (EBITDAI) was AUD 625.5 million vs AUD 342.4 million in 2019.
  • Underlying EBITDAI rose to AUD 284.2 million vs AUD 163.2 million in 2019.
  • Statutory Profit After Tax stood at AUD 156.2 million, including discontinued operations. In the previous financial year, it was a loss of AUD 139.6 million.
  • Statutory Profit Before Tax from ongoing operations totalled AUD 280.1 million. In 2019, it was a loss of AUD 63.3 million.
  • Underlying Operating Profit Before Tax stood at AUD 209.4 million as compared to AUD 100.4 million in 2019.
  • APE reported a robust operating cash inflow of AUD 527.9 million, much ahead of AUD 170.8 million in 2019.
  • By 31 December 2020, liquidity was boosted to AUD 683.2 million with a significantly lower net corporate debt of AUD 129.3 million.

Must read: Why did Eagers Automotive (ASX:APE) Upgrade 2020 Profit Guidance? 

Dividend: After the final dividend for 2019 was reduced by half and no interim dividend was paid for 1H20, the Board has decided to reinstate dividends and declared a final dividend of 25.0 cps. The dividend is scheduled for payment on 20 April 2021.

On 24 February 2021, at AEDT: 12:24 PM, APE traded at 12.260, down by 7.751%.

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