EDMONTON, ALTA. – AutoCanada declared a quarterly eligible dividend of $0.25 per common share on its outstanding Class A common shares.
The quarterly eligible dividend of $0.25 represents an annual dividend rate of $1.00 per common share
Tom Orysiuk, president and CEO, said in a statement the dealership group continues to closely monitor the economic environment in its key markets and the automotive environment in the Canadian economy generally.
He said signals in Alberta in particular suggest fiscal 2016 will be more challenging than the previous year from a retail perspective.
“The increase in unemployment levels and erosion of consumer confidence will likely continue throughout the year. One positive outcome of this challenging environment is the likelihood that good acquisition opportunities will come available, which bring long-term shareholder value,” the company said in a release.
To ensure it has the ability to take advantage of these potential opportunities, AutoCanada said it has “embarked on a number of initiatives” including the reduction of capital expenditures for fiscal 2016 by $34 million dollars compared to what it reported in November 2015.
Orysiuk said the group would also carry out a cost reduction plan intended to net $15 million in yearly savings.
“Throughout fiscal 2015, all except two of our dealerships were profitable though in the case of our Western Canadian dealerships some were at significantly reduced levels as compared to previous years,” he said.
“Our plan for 2016 is prudent management of the business in a manner that maintains a strong and conservatively managed balance sheet, while meeting all of our capital requirements and providing the necessary capital to take advantage of buying opportunities.”
AutoCanada currently operates 54 franchised dealerships comprised of 62 franchises in eight provinces.