CAMBRIA Automobiles’ trading performance for the first three months of its financial year was ahead of that for last year, the company reported today.
After a strong September, the group did see some pressure on new car margins in October and on new car volumes in November, it said. New vehicle unit sales for the first quarter were down 0.7 per cent (like-for-like down 9.4 per cent), but gross profit per retail unit improved in the group’s like-for-like businesses.
Used vehicle sales continued to perform well, with unit sales 3.6 per cent (like-for-like 2.5 per cent) ahead of the same period in the prior year and gross profit per unit continuing to increase.
This performance has again enhanced the profit from the used car segment of the business. The group’s aftersales operations increased revenue by 13.1 per cent (like-for-like up 2.9 per cent), with profitability up by six per cent year on year (like-for-like down 1.5 per cent, impacted partly by a fire in October at the Welwyn Garden City Jaguar and Aston Martin workshop).
The Welwyn Garden City Land Rover business which was acquired a year ago, and the Woodford Jaguar Land Rover business acquired in July 2016, have continued to perform in line with expectations.
In a statement issued ahead of the company’s AGM today, the company said: ‘The board continues to believe that there may be some pressure on new car volumes and margins in 2017 as a result of the uncertainty in the economy and the foreign exchange volatility witnessed over the past few months.
‘However, the board also believes that the group’s robust balance sheet and proven management team ensure it remains well placed to take advantage of any opportunities that may arise. The group’s trading performance in the first quarter means that it is trading in line with market expectations for the full year.’
Cambria has a portfolio of 31 luxury, premium and volume dealerships, representing 46 franchises and 17 brands, with geographical representation spanning from the north-west to the south-east in Kent. Trading under local brand names such as Dees, Doves and Grange, the portfolio currently includes names such as Dacia, Ford, Fiat, Honda, Jaguar, Jeep and Land Rover.
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