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Cambria Automobiles posts sales and profits rise

Full year results for Cambria Automobiles show 14% revenue growth to £450.1 million and underlying pre-tax profit up 32% to £5.4m.

The national car dealer group increased new vehicle sales in the 12 months to August 31 by 16.7% to 10,451 units while used vehicle sales rose by 2% to 14,320 units.

Service and bodyshop hours sold increased by 3.4%.

Gross profit margin across the group reduced from 12.9% to 12.3%, reflecting the change in revenue mix following the increase in new car sales in total and an improvement in commercial vehicles and fleet cars.

Chief executive Mark Lavery said: "I am pleased to report that the operational and financial performance improvements delivered in H1 2014 continued into the second half and the group delivered a good set of results for the full year.

"The financial year under review coincided with another year of strong growth in the UK motor retail market. Up to and including the October 2014 registration data, the UK has enjoyed 32 consecutive months of year on year growth in new car registrations albeit from a low base in Q4 2011."

"In line with our revised acquisition strategy set out last year, we completed the purchase of the Jaguar and Land Rover dealership in Barnet in July 2014, adding our sixth Jaguar and first Land Rover dealership to the group. The integration of this business is progressing well and the business has operated in line with our expectations during the first seven weeks of ownership."

Following that £10.5 million acquisition, Cambria has rebranded the Hadley Green business as Grange and agreed to develop the freehold land and build a new Jaguar Land Rover dealership, in line with the carmaker's latest corporate identity, at an estimated cost of £5m.

Lavery said: "This facility will be a state of the art dealership, which will contribute to a significantly enhanced guest experience and make the business much more efficient."

He said Cambria has enjoyed the benefits of a strategically balanced brand portfolio with a strong mix of high luxury, premium and volume businesses and it intends to continue its buy-and-build strategy acquiring businesses that further improve the brand mix and represent good value for shareholders.

Cambria dealerships trade under the Grange, Doves, Dees, Invicta Motors, County Motor Works, Pure Triumph and Motorparks brands.

Analysts view

Mike Allen at Zeus Capital said: "Cambria continues to outperform a strong market with positive operational gearing continuing to come through. Cash conversion remains strong, there was good pricing and cost base discipline and the balance sheet remains asset rich.

"The latest acquisition looks compelling from a strategic and financial perspective, and we believe our near term forecasts are well underpinned taking this and current trading patterns into account.

"Against the sector, the company continues to show above average growth, earnings momentum and ROCE with a clean balance sheet."

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