Premium and luxury brand group Cambria was performing well before the coronavirus and lockdown struck the economy

Chief executive Mark Lavery said Cambria Automobiles was planning for “return to work scenarios that can be initiated at the appropriate time”. He commented they had “sufficient liquidity to see through the challenges that the pandemic currently presents”.

Turnover for the H1 results was marginally down at £303.1 million against £308.3m last year. However underlying profit before tax was up 14.5% at £6.3m. Underlying net profit margin was up too at 2.07% against 1.79% for H1 2019.

The franchised retail group closed all its showrooms in March reporting the full-year results would have “a material impact on its financial performance” for its full-year results.

Mark Lavery, Cambria CEO

CEO Mark Lavery said: “While I am pleased with the results from the first half of our financial year, the material impact of Coronavirus has overtaken the normal operation of our businesses, as it has across the wider motor retail sector. The group performed well in what were already difficult trading conditions and we were continuing to see improved results from the significant re-franchising activity of the previous few years.

“The impact of Coronavirus cannot be underestimated and despite the significant actions that we have taken to reduce costs, it will have a material negative impact on the financial performance in the second half of the financial year.  We currently do not have visibility on the exit strategy from lockdown nor on the actions that we will have to take in light of the economic outturn as society has to operate in a different way. However, we are working through a number of return to work scenarios that can be initiated at the appropriate time, in line with Government guidance.

“The industry was facing significant headwinds in relation to changing technology to meet more stringent emissions targets, an increasing cost base and disruptive supply factors. The emergence from the COVID-19 lockdown will be another challenge that we will need to contend. But we reiterate that the Group is well placed to respond to these challenges. Along with our strong balance sheet, we are confident that we have sufficient liquidity to see through the challenges that the pandemic currently presents.”

In the first half of 2019 the group reported a turnover of £308.3m with an underlying profit before tax figure of £5.5m.

The group’s full year results for the year to 31 August 2019, Cambriasaw a significant uplift in its financial results 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.

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.