Cambria issues ‘stellar’ results

  20 November 2019

Premium and luxury focussed retailer Cambria has seen a significant uplift in its financial results for the year to 31 August 2019 despite a fall in new car units sold. Revenue for the group was up 4.4% to £657.8 million, while profit before tax was up 37.4% to £12.5m.

Cambria claimed the improved performance was down to “significant portfolio changes” and came despite “challenging market headwinds”.

Mark Lavery, Cambria CEO

The results were hailed by one analyst as a “stellar performance”.

The underlying profit before tax figure, which exclude non-recurring items, for the year to the end of August 2019 was also up strongly, showing a rise of 25.5% to £12.3m.

The improved performance came despite a decrease in both like-for-like and overall new car sales, down 15.3% and 18% respectively, however the fall was more than off-set by a 40.3% increase in profit per unit.

Used car sales were also down (-4.9%) overall but profit per unit was up 8.7%. Aftersales revenue was up 4.3% overall with a like-for-like business up 5.1%.

Commenting on the results Mark Lavery, chief executive officer of Cambria, said: “The strategic refranchising and property development activity that started during the previous financial year delivered a positive impact despite the significant headwinds in the industry and broader economy. Our greater exposure to the high luxury segment has driven the earnings capacity of the group and the increased new car department profit is a reflection of our significantly enhanced property portfolio and diversified brand mix.

“On a general note and in line with my commentary last 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. 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.”

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