But it took a serious turn for the worse when the pandemic arrived, with the company having made close to 1300 staff redundant on March 23 before the JobKeeper program was announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Eagers Automotive said it benefited from $72 million in wage subsidies and rent relief or deferrals from landlords in the June half. The JobKeeper component was $62 million. It also accessed $4 million in similar wage subsidies in New Zealand.
The company won’t pay an interim dividend. Mr Ward said the JobKeeper program had been a lifeline and prevented another wave of large-scale redundancies.
“It is our view that it probably saved 2000 jobs,” Mr Ward said. “We are grateful for it. It is very important.”
While trading in states outside of Victoria had started to improve in July and August, Mr Ward said it was still soft. “It is not