Marc Hasenfuss Editor-at-large

Combined Motor Holdings (CMH), whose long-term earnings have been driven by a reliable profit engine, hiked its final dividend 15% to 115c a share as new-car sales recorded through its sprawling dealership network raced well ahead of the national average. On Tuesday, the company’s financial statements for the year to end-December reflected new-vehicle sales growth of almost 12% compared with a slender growth in the national average of just 0.4%. CMH CEO Jebb McIntosh said the Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Mazda brands had mainly driven the above-average growth in new-vehicle sales. The luxury market continued its declining trend, with sales slipping 8.1%, he said. Sales had declined by a third in three years in this niche. "Fortunately, the luxury brands form a relatively low proportion of the group’s model mix. However, the Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo dealerships experienced a difficult year." CMH’s revenue was up only 3% to R10.6bn. McIntosh said that the growth in new-vehicle sales ...

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