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BAPCOR Ltd, Australia’s biggest parts supplier that trades under names including Burson and Autobarn, exceeded expectations for the 2018 financial year to post a 22 per cent increase in revenue to $1.24 billion.

The result, which included a net profit after tax of $84.5 million – up 57.3 per cent on the previous year – was attributed to a divestment in non-core businesses and a store expansion that now has more than 850 locations including 128 Autobahn and 170 Burson shops.

In announcing the figures, Bapcor managing director and CEO Darryl Abotomey paid tribute to “the significant contribution of Bapcor’s inaugural chairman, Robert McEniry, who sadly passed away on July 4, 2018”.

Mr Abotomey said the 2018 financial year showed each business segment producing a rise in revenue and profit and that further opportunities would occur in the current financial year.

Bapcor sold its non-core businesses of Contract Resources, TBS and Footwear during the year to allow it to focus on its automotive aftermarket unit, and then integrated New Zealand-based Hellaby Automotive into this unit after its acquisition in January 2017.

Burson Trade, made up of Burson Auto Parts and Precision Automotive Equipment, increased revenue by 7.8 per cent.

“The Burson store network expanded to 170 stores nationwide, an increase of 10 stores,” Mr Abotomety said.

“Burson Trade has also refreshed its store rollout target based on the current market size, and increased its target from 200 to 230 stores by 2023.

“Autobarn added 17 new company-owned stores to its network during the year, consisting of eight greenfield stores and the conversion of nine franchise operations.

“This brings the total number of company-owned Autobarn stores to 48, or 38 per cent of the 128 Autobarn store network, which is well on the way to the target of 200 Autobarn stores.”

Bapcor’s specialist segment has been increased to 11 units – including AAD, Bearing Wholesalers, Opposite Lock, Baxters and Federal Batteries – and reported a 33.8 per cent increase in revenue.

Mr Abotomey said that Bapcor was forecasting continued revenue and profit growth in the 2019 financial year.

“Consensus predictions of earnings before tax (EBITDA) of about $170 million are reasonable, leading to an increase in net profit after tax of between nine and 14 per cent above the 2018 financial year,” he said.

Bapcor paid 8.5 cents per share as a final dividend, up 13.3 per cent on the same period in 2017, bringing the total year’s dividends to 15.5c/share fully franked, up 19.2 per cent.

By Neil Dowling