Imperial and Unitrans increased their revenues by 15 and 23 per cent respectively in the year to June, and both groups have a positive outlook for the rest of 2003 based on lower interest rates, a stable rand and an upswing in the global economy.

The Imperial and Unitrans increased their revenues by 15 and 23 per cent respectively in the year to June, and both groups have a positive outlook for the rest of 2003 based on lower interest rates, a stable rand and an upswing in the global economy.


Imperial saw all its operations produce positive results for the period and the group's chief executive Bill Lynch said the results were a good base for an improvement in trading conditions.


"The positive impact of the lower interest rates is already being felt, boosting vehicle sales and improving economic activity," Lynch said, adding "a more stable local currency would make it easier to price trucks and other vehicles Imperial imported."


Revenue for the group rose 15 per cent to R32,27 billion and attributable profit for the year rose 18 per cent to R1,47 billion.


Meanwhile, the motor business of Unitrans, the listed transport, distribution and logistics group, helped it report a more than 20 per cent improvement in headline earnings in the year to June.


Revenue increased 23 per cent to R7,39 billion and operating income rose by almost 24 per cent to R385,58 million. Net profit rose by 8,3 per cent to R215,87 million.


"We've had had an outstanding performance in the motor business. It's a very well run business and in a pretty flat market with no growth in vehicle sales, we've gained market share," Unitrans' chief executive Jo Grové said.


Grové said the financial services cluster of the motor division recorded substantial profit growth, with insurance income driving the 28 per cent growth.


According to , operating profit in Unitrans's motor division increased by 36 per cent on the back of sales growth of 27 per cent and an increase in the operating margin.


Grové expressed some disappointment in the performance of Hertz, the group's car rental business, adding that it was taking longer than thought to turn the business around.


Grové said the freight division increased its profit by 16 percent with a slight improvement in margins, while the passenger division, which consists of Mega Bus, Mega Coach, Greyhound, Magic Bus and Mega Tourer, increased profit by 18 per cent.