The appreciation of the Rand attributed to a decline in automotive components supplier Metair’s sales to local manufacturers in the six months to June, the company says.

The appreciation of the Rand attributed to a decline in automotive components supplier Metair’s sales to local manufacturers in the six months to June, the company says.


The group yesterday attributed the drop to increased imports of cars and lower vehicle exports from SA during the period under review.


"Imported vehicles now represent almost 30 per cent of the domestic market," said Metair, adding that lower imported subcomponent costs also resulted in reduced selling prices.


But, while Metair's direct exports of automotive components and non-automotive products declined, the company has reportedly recorded a better performance in the domestic after-market, which includes replacement parts sold at spares shops. Sales increased slightly despite strong competition from imports.


Group sales were 3,6 per cent below the first six months of 2003 at R914,8 million, but net profit rose 3,7 per cent to R76,3 million.


Metair further announced that R150 million would be invested this year to expand most of the group's operations and raise output, after the group secured contracts for the supply of components such as batteries, door trim panels and centre consoles with undisclosed vehicle manufacturers.


"Investments have been made in preparation for new contracts that will generate additional turnover from 2005," quoted the group as saying.