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Record car sales boost Holden, Mercedes

NZN 8/05/2017 Rebecca Howard

Revenue at Holden and Mercedes-Benz New Zealand rose in calendar 2016 as new car sales continue to top records.

However both companies also reported a higher cost of sales, largely to related entities, which weighed on net profit.

New Zealand's car market has been on a tear for the past three years, setting new records every month through that period as the country's relatively strong labour market has provided enough jobs for an expanding population.

Motor Industry Association figures last week showed registrations of new vehicles rose 7 per cent to 10,635 in April from the same month a year earlier, led by a 16 per cent gain in commercial vehicle registrations to 3639.

Documents filed with the Companies Office show Holden NZ reported revenue of $572.7 million in the 12 months ended December 31 versus $531.1m in the prior year.

Cost of sales, however, rose 8.5 per cent to $527.3m of which about 80 per cent was to related entities versus 72 per cent in the prior year. As a result, net profit was stable at $14.92m versus $14.95m in the prior year.

Mercedes-Benz's revenue rose to $295m from $270m in 2015 while its cost of sales rose 13 per cent to $267.5m, of which 96 per cent was to related parties, the bulk going to Daimler AG.

Mercedes-Benz NZ also saw higher administrative expenses and lower financial income. Its profit for the year was $8.6m, down from $15.2m in 2015.

The MIA figures show April year-to-date registrations rose 13 per cent to 50,059.

Japanese car maker Toyota was the most popular car in the year-to-date figures with 16 per cent growth in registrations, followed by Ford at 11 per cent. Holden was third with 9 per cent. Mercedes-Benz had 2 per cent of the market.

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