Cambria Automobiles reports that its profit per unit in new and used car sales has strengthened during the first 11 months of its financial year.
Trading has been “significantly ahead” of the corresponding period in 2018, it said, and therefore it expects its results to be ahead of market expectations when it announces them in November.
It said supply-side market influences have contributed to a reduction in the group’s new vehicle sales volume, although this was fully offset by improved gross profit per unit in the like-for-like businesses and further outweighed by the improved gross profit per unit across the total group.
Thanks to a stronger mix of full year sales from its high luxury dealerships, representing Aston Martin, Bentley, Lamborghini and McLaren, gross profit per retail unit “improved significantly on a total basis”, it said.
Group retail sales of new cars dropped 11.7% (like-for-like down 7.8%) and total new vehicle sales volumes fell 18.3% (like-for-like down 15.5%). But changes in Cambria’s franchise mix (adding more luxury brands, reducing low margin brands such as Fiat) drove up profit per unit and the total profit from the new car department of the business improved significantly year on year, said the group.
Used vehicle sales continued to perform well, it said, with like-for-like volume up 0.8% although the total used unit sales were down 5.1%. But the volume drop was offset by continued improvement in gross profit per unit, leading to an overall year-on-year improvement in profit from used car retailing.
Aftersales revenue increased by 4.7% (like-for-like up 1.8%), gross profit up 2.6% year on year (like-for-like up 1.1%) and aftersales contribution up 4.9% (like-for-like up 1.9%).
Mark Lavery, Cambria’s chief executive, said: “As a group we have had a successful year, reaping the benefits of our significantly enhanced property portfolio and our excellent, diversified brand mix. The franchising changes undertaken in previous years have given us a strong platform from which to build, with our increased representation in the high luxury segment positioning the group for future growth. Whilst the current economic environment remains uncertain, we continue to make good progress and remain well placed to take advantage of any opportunities to accelerate the group’s growth.”
Since September 2018, Cambria has refranchised two Fiat sites in Warrington and Oldham with Peugeot and Citroen respectively, replaced Honda with Suzuki at Maidstone, and replaced Nissan with Vauxhall at Warrington.
It has also begun trading from its second Lamborghini centre at Tunbridge Wells and its Jaguar Land Rover ARCH concept dealership at Hatfield.
In the first half of the year Cambria recorded a 14.6% rise in underlying pre-tax profits.
Concluding its pre-close statement, Cambria announced it had replaced its auditor KPMG with UHY Hacker Young following a competitive tender process, and thanked KPMG for its service.