MOTOR dealer group Cambria Automobiles saw a record turnover during the past year with revenue up by 17.3 per cent to £614.2m – the first time it has exceeded £600m.
Its annual report and financial statements for the year ending 31st August 2016 showed a £4m rise in operating profit to £12.4m – an increase of 47.6 per cent – as well as pre-tax profit up from £7.7m to £11.8m, representing an upturn of 53.2 per cent.
The group now has 31 dealerships representing 46 franchises and 17 brands, spanning the high-luxury, premium and volume segments. Over the past year, it disposed of its Croydon and Exeter Jaguar dealerships and closed its Exeter Aston Martin showroom, but acquired the Woodford Jaguar and Land Rover dealership and Welwyn Garden City Land Rover, as well as opening its third Aston Martin business in Birmingham.
Chief executive Mark Lavery said: ‘The acquisitions that we have made will contribute to revenue growth in the next financial year. I am pleased with the investments that we have made during the course of the year.’
But he added: ‘It remains too early to assess the full implications of the UK electorate’s decision to leave the EU. However, we appreciate that the UK economy is in a period of uncertainty post the EU referendum vote in June 2016. The Board remains confident that Cambria’s resilient business model is well positioned to take advantage of any opportunities that the current economic uncertainty could provide.’
Subject to shareholder approval, a final dividend of 0.7p per share is to be made – up from 0.6p in 2014/15 – making a total year dividend of 0.9p per share, which is a 20 per cent increase on 2014/15’s 0.75p. Earnings per share are up by 53.6 per cent from 6.03p last year to 9.26p.
Chairman Philip Swatman added: ‘The UK economy is in a period of uncertainty while the ramifications of leaving the EU are worked through. There is a lack of clarity on how any free trade agreements will be negotiated and there are major implications for the sterling exchange rate and other fiscal levers.
‘At the time of writing, we are unclear as to how these factors will impact the UK motor trade. That said, we are continuing to invest for future growth as we consider that the group is in a strong financial position and will be able to adapt as required. Moreover, Cambria’s robust balance sheet, industry-leading return on investment and proven management team leave it well positioned to manage any uncertainty.
‘The board is pleased with the progress that has been made over the last two financial years and intends to continue to exploit selective and opportunistic growth opportunities while driving the core operation of the existing businesses.’
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