CAMBRIA Automobiles has reported strong growth in the first half of its current financial year, with underlying profit before tax up by 14.6 per cent to £5.5m compared to the same period 12 months ago.
The group also saw revenue grow by 4.5 per cent to £308.3m in the six months ending February 28, 2019, compared to £295.1m in the first half of its previous financial year.
Overall new vehicle sales dropped by 23.4 per cent to 3,432 units, but Cambria’s report explains that this was offset by a 30.6 per cent increase in profit per unit. In particular, new unit sales to retail customers fell by 16.3 per cent but profit per unit also improved 21.6 per cent due to more premium brands in its portfolio.
Used vehicle sales also fell by 8.8 per cent but profit in this area also improved 1.7 per cent to £12m.
The group also saw growth in aftersales, with revenues up 6.5 per cent to £37.5m and profit up to £14.2m.
Mark Lavery, chief executive of Cambria, said: ‘I am pleased with the Group’s financial results in the first half.
‘Despite the economic backdrop, general consumer uncertainty, continued inconsistent messaging around diesel engines and cost pressures, they were ahead of our expectations and substantially ahead of last year.
‘The significant disruption incurred in the prior year as a result of the Group’s refranchising activity is behind us and we are now starting to see the benefit of these changes coming through.
‘Our level of activity undertaken with our property development and refranchising efforts should not be underestimated and whilst the new franchises are still in their infancy, the potential earnings streams from these businesses is encouraging. Aside from the High Luxury Segment additions, we are also making positive steps in refranchising some of the Group’s underperforming franchises.
‘Whilst the current economic environment remains uncertain, we are making good progress and remain well placed to accelerate the Group’s growth as a result of our robust underlying business model and enhanced franchised portfolio. Based on the results of the first half and the March performance, the Board expects that performance for the full financial year will be ahead of current market expectations.’