Shares in Automotive Holdings Group have hit the skids after the firm announced a combined $226 million impairment against its struggling franchised and refrigerated logistics businesses.
The vehicle group told the ASX on Friday the half-year writedown reflected a soft auto retail sector, as well as recent regulatory changes to car finance and insurance, and negative wealth sentiment from falling property prices, especially in Sydney and Melbourne.
Shares in AHG fell by as much as 11.8 per cent following the announcement, and were down 8.57 per cent at $1.6275 at 1143 AEDT – still more than 50 per cent down on the same time last year.
Managing director John McConnell said the company had already moved to restructure or close several sites, particularly for underperforming brands and locations, along with other corporate initiatives.
This would lead to unusual items of $38 million being recorded in the half-year results on February 22, he said.
‘A number of acquisitions and investment decisions made in the last decade reflected where the market was at the time,’ Mr McConnell said.
‘In the current market a number of these investments are not delivering the earnings required to support the carrying value’.
The impairment charges include a $147 million writedown against AHG’s franchised automotive unit, and $79 million against its refrigerated logistics unit.
In July, China’s HNA Group cancelled a proposed $280 million purchase of the firm’s refrigerated trucking arm, with the deal called off on concerns over the Chinese company’s own financial position.