Cambria Automobiles reports drop in vehicle sales but profits continue to rise

Time 9:06 am, May 9, 2017

CAMBRIA Automobiles plc has reported an increase in revenues by 11 per cent to £309.1m and underlying profits before tax up 21.7 per cent, despite a drop in vehicle sales. 

Both revenue and profits were ahead year-on-year for the six months ending February 28, 2017. Underlying profit before tax was up to £5.6m from £4.6m in H1 of 2016.

New vehicles sales were down 4.6 per cent in the period, while used vehicle sales were 1.2 per cent, however, this was offset by an increase in average profit per unit.

Mark Lavery, chief executive at Cambria, said: ‘The retail market has shown some softening, and it’s primarily volume brands that are having more of a difficult time, and without naming specifics, there are a few of the group’s bigger partners who are having a really difficult time out there.

‘I suppose a combination of Brexit, volatility in foreign exchange and landed cost of product going up. It’s pretty much as it was predicted by the analysts towards the back end of last year. That’s what we’re experiencing.’

It’s been an exceptionally busy period at Cambria, with new sites including Welwyn Garden City Land Rover, Woodford Jaguar Land Rover and Birmingham Aston Martin. Its JLR site in Barnet has gone through a complete redevelopment, which is now nearing completion.

Cambria also revealed positive operational cash flows, with a cash position of £17.2m and net cash of £3.3m.

Lavery added: ‘I think we’ve got some incredible associates in the organisation, we’ve arguably been through our busiest year ever with a change in the DMS provider with all of the challenges that come with that. We’ve sold two businesses, bought two and opened another one, so we’ve been been quite busy.

‘I think the outstanding bit of this report is the commitment from our associates to keep delivering that world class guest experience.’

Cambria has built a balanced portfolio of 31 luxury, premium and volume dealerships, representing 45 franchises and 16 brands, with geographical representation spanning from the North West to the South East in Kent. These businesses are autonomous and trade under local brand names, including County Motor Works, Dees, Doves, Grange, Invicta, Motorparks and Pure Triumph.

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Rebecca Chaplin's avatar

Rebecca has been a motoring and business journalist since 2014, previously writing and presenting for titles such as the Press Association, Auto Express and Car Buyer. She has worked in many roles for Car Dealer Magazine’s publisher Blackball Media including head of editorial.

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