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Automotive market keeps tanking: AP Eagers

Derek Rose
AP Eagers says its profit was down 6% in the first 10 months of the year

AP Eagers has flagged a drop in full-year profit, saying there's been no pickup in Australia's lacklustre automotive market.

With two months left in its current financial year Australia's largest car dealership group said profit since the start of FY19 was down 6.0 per cent on the prior corresponding period.

"AP Eagers is not immune to the external trading environment which remains challenging," chief executive Martin Ward said on Thursday.

Industry sales of new vehicles have been in decline for 19 straight months, with 126,000 fewer automotives sold than in the preceding 19 months, AP Eagers said.

AP Eagers said its integration of newly acquired rival Automotive Holding Group was progressing but AHG's big-box used car operation known as EasyAuto123 was significantly underperforming, realising a $2.5 million loss in the four months since July 1.

"Action to improve trading results is being implemented as a matter of urgency to drive sustainable operating returns consistent with other areas of the business," AP Eagers said.

The sale process for AHG's refrigerated logistics business has entered the due diligence stage, AP Eagers said.

At 1126 AEDT, AP Eagers shares were down 4.4 per cent to $11.33.