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Cambria Automobiles 'maintains momentum' despite margin pressures

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Cambria Automobiles plc has “maintained its momentum” following a strong showing in the last financial year, according to a statement issued ahead of the group’s AGM.

The Group reported that its trading performance in the first three months of the current financial year had been “ahead of the corresponding period in 2015/16, both on a total and like-for-like basis”, in a statement issued by the London Stock Exchange ahead of today’s meeting.   

Pressure was experienced on new car margins in October and on new car volumes in November and saw new vehicle unit sales for the first quarter down 0.7% (like-for-like down 9.4%), the business revealed, 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% (like-for-like 2.5%) ahead of the same period in the prior year and gross profit per unit continuing to increase. 

Cambria’s statement said: “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% (like-for-like up 2.9%), with profitability up by 6% year on year (like-for-like down 1.5%, impacted partly by a fire in October at the Welwyn Garden City Jaguar and Aston Martin workshop).” 

Cambria stated that the Welwyn Garden City Land Rover business which was acquired on January 8th 2016 and the Woodford Jaguar Land Rover business, acquired on July 5th 2016, have continued to perform in-line with expectations.   

Its statement added: “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.”

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