Colonial Motor Company, which owns motor vehicle dealerships nationwide, posted a record underlying profit of $19.2 million as the nation's new vehicle industry hit its highest level of sales.

Trading profit for the year ended June 30 was up 18 per cent on last year's $16.3m, the Wellington-based company said, though the results are still preliminary and unaudited.

Property and investment revaluations and a gain on the sale of a property lifted net profit to $21.5m.

The new vehicle industry had a 5 per cent sales lift on the previous year in the first six months of 2016 and CMC's two main brands, Ford and Mazda, both increased their market share.


The Ford Ranger, a light commercial, was New Zealand's top-selling vehicle in the first half of the year.

CMC increased revenue to $867m, up nearly 10 per cent on the previous year.

The company has purchased a site at Te Rapa in Hamilton to develop as a parts and service centre for Southpac Trucks. It opened a new airport service centre for Ford and Mazda in South Auckland in January and is trying to lease a site for a service centre in Takanini.