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GIANT Australian 4WD accessory chain ARB Corporation Ltd has reported increases in profits and sales as exports now command almost 28 per cent of revenue.

Figures for the 2017 financial year show sales up by seven per cent to $382.6 million and profit after tax lifted by 4.8 per cent to $67.5 million.

ARB has increased its retail outlets to 61 from 56 last financial year, with 25 being company owned.

Three stores opened within the past three months and did not contribute to the 2017 results. ARB this month also finished building its main Victorian warehouse, a 16,000 square metre facility in Keysborough.

Chairman Roger Brown said export sales rose 14.3 per cent with additional contribution from a new sales and warehouse operation in Dubai. Exports now represent 27.6 per cent of ARB’s total sales.

He said the company will soon start construction of an expansion to the Thailand-based manufacturing and warehouse facility.

Mr Brown said growth in the 2017 year was achieved “in an uncertain global environment”.

But he said demand for ARB products remained healthy in many markets and it has plans for new products and improved distribution.

“ARB invested $20.4 million during the year in additional property, plant and equipment, including manufacturing equipment to increase capacity and capital expenditure across the selling networks, particularly for new and upgraded stores in Australia,” he said.

“ARB is in a strong financial position with cash of $27.6 million and no debt at June 30, 2017, enabling the company to react quickly to appropriate opportunities including further capital projects or suitable acquisitions.”

By Neil Dowling