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NewsBy Jeremy BennettCambria Automobiles has seen a more than 50% fall in profits year-on-year, a performance judged as "relatively resilient" by chief executive Mark Lavery.Revenue for the six months to February 29 was down £17.3 million to £184.2m and profit before tax was £1.1m compared to £2.6m in the same period last year. The drop is attributed to weaker new car sales and profitability.Gross profit fell by 5.8% to £22.7m from £24.1m, but the overall gross profit margin for the period increased to 13.6% compared to 13.1% in the previous period.Profit before tax dropped to £1.1m compared with £2.6m in the prior year. The businesses that have been within the group throughout the 2011 financial year made a profit before tax of £1.2m, whereas the Southampton Vauxhall business bought from Hartwell (its eighth acquisition since 2006) in the 2012 financial year made a loss before tax of £0.1m.Lavery said: "The group has performed in line with our expec-tations and has produced a relatively resilient performance against a difficult market backdrop with weak consumer confidence, rising unemploy-ment, inflationary pressures and adverse exchange rate pressures impacting on the vehicle manufacturers that we represent during the reporting period.Cambria profits halved as Half-year performance 'relatively resilient' despite weaker new car sales and profitabilityAMi comment: Business is very new car dependentConsidering its strategy of buying underperforming businesses, Cambria is doing quite well in making any money at all, although it has not been able to cut its overhead base as fast as its turnover fell.The business is, however, very new car dependent, more so than organisations that have been building on their local presence and brand for a long time. With the turnaround strategy comes the opportunity of quick wins when you re-establish control, but also the need to rebuild customer loyalty, which takes time.And so with the strategy and the resultant lack of maturity of the businesses acquired and the lack of a comparatively strong aftersales parc and customer database, Cambria is exposed, vulnerable in the fact the turnaround businesses don't have loyal customers. Mark Lavery