DEALER group Cambria Automobiles saw its pre-tax profit soar by 37 per cent to £12.5m for the year to August 31, it reported today.
In its final results for 2018/19, announced via the London Stock Exchange, the franchised motor retailer, which was established in 2006, said it had performed ahead of board and market expectations, enjoying gross profit growth across all segments despite what it labelled ‘challenging market headwinds’.
Revenue was up by 4.4 per cent to £657.8m, with operating profit rising by 36 per cent to £13.9m.
New unit sales were down 8.1 per cent like for like, but gross profit was up as a result of the 11.1 per cent like-for-like increase in profit per unit because of what it called an ‘improvement in the franchise portfolio mix’.
Among its franchising highlights over the past financial year, it opened its second Lamborghini dealership, in Tunbridge Wells, as well as showrooms for Peugeot in Warrington, Suzuki in Maidstone and Citroen in Oldham. It also bought land in Brentwood to build a dealership.
Chief executive Mark Lavery, pictured, said: ‘We are pleased to have delivered a strong performance in the 2018/19 financial year.
‘The year has seen a difficult new car market that has been impacted by weakening consumer demand in the face of the uncertainty around the Brexit negotiations, inconsistent messaging around the future of diesel engines and the impact on car supply from the change in emissions testing.’
He praised staff for their work over the past year, saying: ‘Our teams have worked incredibly hard and delivered a strong result at both the revenue and profit levels, which significantly outperformed market expectations.
‘Our strong new car profitability, improved used car profit performance, combined with growth in aftersales have all been significant contributors. I would like to thank our associates for their contributions throughout the year.’
But Lavery also warned: ‘The challenges facing vehicle manufacturers in achieving compliance with the 2020 and 2021 CO2 emissions targets will impact the new car market over the next two years.
‘Like our peer group, we are also having to cope with government-driven central cost increases including, but not limited to, the national minimum wage increases, apprenticeship levy, pension contributions, increases in debit and credit card charges and increased property rating costs. Regrettably, we have no control over these factors.’
Cambria’s annual meeting will be held on January 9 at Grange Jaguar Land Rover in Hatfield.