– By Caroline Falls –
SG Fleet, a listed fleet management group, profit in the six months ended December 31 rose slightly thanks to sustained corporate business in its three business areas — Australia, New Zealand and the UK. An accelerating recovery in novated leasing also helped.
The group said its profits rose to $25.4 million from $24.5 million in the same period a year earlier. No Jobkeeper benefits were received by the company.
The result exceeded the guidance of $22-24 million given at the company’s annual general meeting in October. It was “helped by a continued strong residual value environment in the final months of the period,” SG Fleet said in a statement on the results to the Australian Stock Exchange.
SG Fleet’s CEO Robbie Blau remarked on the COVID conditions in the reporting period, saying: ”Demand disruptions continued to occur, notably during the Victoria lockdowns, but I am happy to report that the good performance we delivered in the second half of 2020 has ensured we were able to make further progress during the first half of 2021 beyond what we expected halfway through that period.”
SG Fleet reinstated its 65 percent payout from its net profit after tax and amortisation, or NPATA, as dividends, declaring a 7.1 cents per share dividend for the first half ending Dec 31. That is more than double the dividend of the previous six months. NPATA earnings in the half year rose 3.9% to 9.71 cents per share from a year earlier.
SG Feet’s share price rose a little on the result, extending gains from a historic low of around $1.00 a year ago. At about $2.63 at the time of writing the share price of SG Fleet is a long way from its record $4.94 hit in August 2016.
Investors buy on expectations so it’s worth mentioning SG Fleet’s outlook statements.
“We continue to be very successful with our tenders, and our widening products and services range is well received by a growing number of our customers. While COVID-19 might have triggered some of this demand, the resulting trends in terms of requirements are very much here to stay. Our investments in Carly and DingGo are performing well, and we continue to develop next generation solutions, including in the low emission vehicle space. All of this has to us in a very strong positions for the future,” Blau said.
The half year report showed SG Fleet won some 44% of the tenders it submitted. Revenue at DingGo, a digital contactless repair solution, grew 98% and user growth increased 115% to 11,000 plus. New mobility player Carly saw vehicle utilisation days grow to 82% from 64%. The number of low emission vehicles in the SG Fleet group rose to 7,388 at the end of December, from 5,681 six months earlier.