Bapcor said sales across the whole business for the three months ended September 30 rose 27 per cent from the year-earlier period. Shares in the company gained 4.3 per cent in early trade to $7.94.
Retail revenue jumped a whopping 47 per cent, with same-store sales at the Autobarn chain up 36 per cent.
Revenue at the Burson chain of stores, which mainly supplies professional mechanics and garages, climbed 10 per cent. Same-store sales, which strip out any new store openings or closures, rose 7.7 per cent but would have been up 17 per cent in July-September if a downturn in Victoria was excluded.
Mr Abotomey said the overall sales result across the company in Australia was very robust despite the drag of the tough lockdowns in Victoria.
He said sales for the company went backwards in Victoria over the three months. Mr Abotomey said with the lower case numbers in Victoria, Premier Daniel Andrews should be moving faster to re-open the economy.
“There still needs to be caution, but he should be moving faster now,” Mr Abotomey said.
Mr Abotomey said the automotive aftermarket had been resilient in previous economic downturns, and similar traits had emerged again this time around although the ban on overseas travel and limits on domestic travel had meant there was more money in household budgets to spend on vehicle accessories.
He said JobKeeper payments, withdrawals from superannuation funds and a diversion from travel spending had all been components in the strong sales performance.
“They’ve got the cash, they want to spend,” he said.
UBS estimated last month that Australians spent about $63 billion annually on overseas and domestic travel, which they were now prevented from doing, and some of that money was flowing into other sectors.
Mr Abotomey also pointed to a surge in secondhand car sales, as people in cities steered clear of public transport because of concerns about COVID-19 and being packed in with each other on trains, trams and buses.
Motorists wanted to enhance the comfort levels inside those additional vehicles, and were upgrading the technology into those vehicles with dash cams, GPS equipment and better sound systems.
Luxury car companies last month reported that high-end sales of more expensive models were starting to gather momentum, as cashed-up buyers looked to upgrade amid offshore travel bans.