Carsales.com shares have surged more than 10 per cent after it shook off tough domestic conditions to boost first-half profit and lift its payout.
The group reported a 22 per cent increase in profit from continuing operations to $71.2 million in the six months to December 31.
An increasing contribution of its international portfolio and a “resilient performance of the core Australian business” helped revenue from continuing operations rise 5.0 per cent to $214.1 million.
Statutory net profit for the half-year climbed more than five-fold to $66.6 million, reflecting the cycling through of last year’s $48 million write-down of the company’s stake in Stratton Finance.
The Stratton stake, which carsales.com has since sold to a third party, was still a $4.48 million impairment during the half.
The online vehicle sales company on Wednesday declared a fully franked interim dividend of 22 cents per share, up 1.5 cents from a year ago.
Carsales’ stock price was 10.3 per cent higher at $19.435 by 1052 AEDT on Wednesday.
Chief executive Cameron McIntyre said the group’s international growth strategy was delivering results, with earnings growth in South Korea of 16 per cent, and 36 per cent in Brazil.
“Our two largest international assets in Korea and Brazil continue to demonstrate impressive growth profiles and both have significant future upside potential,” he told the ASX on Wednesday.
The Brazilian business, webmotors, increaed dealer numbers by 14 per cent, while lead volumes grew by 44 per cent.