Imperial Holdings is expected to report up to a 42% improvement for its full-year, helped mainly by its auto retailing division.

Reports in Johannesburg say the South African group’s car dealer unit has been boosted by cost cuts and reviving consumer demand.

South African vehicle sales are starting to rebound after two years of steep falls, while next month’s World Cup in the country should benefit car rental firms.

The company said earnings per share would be between 22%-42% higher.

Imperial, whose business includes auto retailing, rental and logistics, has almost 250 new and used vehicle dealerships.

Shares rose 5% on the news.