Jaguar Land Rover roars to record profits
THE RECOVERY in Britain’s car industry accelerated yesterday when Jaguar Land Rover posted record annual profits of £1.51bn.
The group sold 314,433 vehicles in the 12 months to 31 March, its highest ever figure and up by 29.1 per cent.
Indian parent company Tata Motors also said it would increase investment in the firm to £2bn this financial year, up from £1.5bn the previous year.
The results represent another boost for Britain’s car industry. As well as a turnaround at JLR – which turned to the European Investment Bank for a crisis loan in 2009 – General Motors decided to invest £125m on building a new Astra in Britain two weeks ago and last month Nissan pledged to spend £127m here.
Yesterday JLR, which has plants in the West Midlands and Merseyside, recorded a 36.9 per cent rise in sales to £13.51bn while pre-tax profit leapt 35.2 per cent to £1.51bn as Chinese motorists continued to snap up Western marques.
“We see very strong growth in China. The demand for our vehicles, especially the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, is very high. If the dynamic continues, China will be our number two market,” this financial year, said JLR chief executive Ralf Speth.
In March Tata finalised a joint venture with China’s Chery Automobile to make JLR vehicles in the world’s largest car market.
China accounted for 17.3 per cent of JLR sales in the year to the end of March. Britain brought in 19.7 per cent of sales while North America accounted for 18.5 per cent. Europe was its largest market at 22.8 per cent.
Roger Maddison, Unite national officer, said JLR’s success is a “testament to the hard work and sacrifices” of its staff in Britain.
“During the 2008 credit crunch the workers agreed to £70m of savings to support the company… In a major turnaround, JLR will have recruited over 5,000 new employees by the end of this year,” he said.
Tata Motors, part of the software-to-salt Tata Group, said net profit for the fourth quarter to the end of March was 62.5bn rupees (£718m).