Auto retailer AP Eagers said it expects its first-half fiscal 2019 operating profit before tax to be up to 10 per cent below last year, citing a challenging domestic car retail environment.
"External trading conditions in the national automotive retail sector remain challenging with the overall new vehicle sales market declining 8.1 per cent to the end of April 2019," the company said in a statement on Wednesday.
Weaker consumer spending has hurt Australian automotive sales and has fuelled market speculation about consolidation among car dealers.
Last week, AP Eagers offered to buy out Automotive Holdings Group Ltd for $836 million, winning the backing of its smaller rival.
AHG on Tuesday cut its full-year net profit forecast, but said it didn't expect the move to affect AP Eagers' takeover.