Turners Auctions says the lift in new cars sales and cheaper Japanese imports make it cautiously optimistic about the year ahead.
The listed car auction firm's profit has risen 14% to $4.2 million, boosted by the success of CashNow, a new product which gives customers instant cash for their cars.
Revenue for the year to December rose 4% from 2011 to $78 million.
The used car market rose 2%, while the smaller, new car market rose 20%.
Imports fell 3%, due to the challenges of buying Japanese cars since new emissions rules came into force at the start of 2012.
But the company says its focus on buying cars domestically paid off with an overall 2% rise in used car sales.
Turners Auctions chief executive Graham Roberts says there are signs of a modest pickup in business, due partly to the high exchange rate for the New Zealand dollar.
The company will pay a final dividend of 8 cents per share, but Mr Roberts notes that a special dividend will not be paid because the group is looking at growth opportunities that may need investment.