Mark Lavery, CEO of CambriaMark Lavery, CEO of Cambria

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Cambria CEO takes pay cut as results reveal listed group’s profits up – but pain coming

Time 1 year ago

Listed dealer group Cambria say CEO Mark Lavery has taken a 50 per cent pay cut and other board members have slashed their pay by 20 per cent as it announced its interim results today (May 6).

In the announcement made at 7am to the London Stock Exchange, the dealer group said it was currently making plans for a return to work, but added that the closure of showrooms will have a ‘material impact’ on its results.

In the six months to February 29 – before the crisis took hold – the group saw revenue reduce to £303.1m, down from £308.3m the year before, but profit was UP 14.5 per cent to £6.3m (£.5m in 2019).


Despite this, the group has suspended its dividend in light of the impact coronavirus will have on the business.

New car sales reduced by 10.1 per cent during the period while used car sales went up by 2.8 per cent – the gross profit per unit on the latter was up 1.8 per cent too.

Aftersales revenue increased by 1.1 per cent during the period.

Mark Lavery, chief executive of Cambria, said: ‘While I am pleased with the results from the first half of our financial year, the material impact of coronavirus has overtaken the normal operation of our businesses, as it has across the wider motor retail sector.  

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‘The impact of coronavirus cannot be underestimated and despite the significant actions that we have taken to reduce costs, it will have a material negative impact on the financial performance in the second half of the financial year.  

‘We currently do not have visibility on the exit strategy from lockdown nor on the actions that we will have to take in light of the economic outturn as society has to operate in a different way.’

Lavery said that the group’s performance were good despite difficult trading conditions before the crisis took hold and that its ‘significant re-franchising activity’ of the last few years was beginning to pay off. 

He added: ‘The industry was already facing some significant headwinds in relation to changing technology to meet more stringent emissions targets, an increasing cost base and disruptive supply factors. 

‘The emergence from the Covid-19 lockdown will be another challenge that we will need to contend with, but we reiterate that the group is well placed to respond to these challenges. 

‘Along with our strong balance sheet, we are confident that we have sufficient liquidity to see through the challenges that the pandemic currently presents.’

The group increased its presence in Scotland during the period with the acquisition of an Aston Martin dealer and Rolls-Royce dealership from the administrators of Leven Cars Group earlier this year.

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It also changed its Volvo Preston site into an FCA centre selling Alfa Romeo and Jeep.

Cambria reported positive operational cash flows were maintained, with a cash position of £20.1m and net debt of £6m. It said it has a strong balance sheet of assets of £68.5m and is achieving a rolling twelve month return on equity of 15.85 per cent.

Cambria was established in 2006 and has built a balanced portfolio of high luxury, premium and volume car dealerships, comprising 40 franchises. The group’s businesses trade under local brand names, including County Motor Works, Dees, Doves, Grange, Invicta, Motorparks and Pure Triumph.

James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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