BL cuts losses to £22m
By Jonathan Davis
BL, the state-owned motor group, gave a warning yesterday that its trading prospects remain uncertain, despite a further cut in its losses in the first half of the year. BL’s interim figures show that its loss before extraordinary items was more than halved from £46.6m to £22.2m.
At the operating level, BL made a profit of £17.9m but this included the contribution from Jaguar, which was privatized last month and whose profits will no longer be available to the group. Without Jaguar’s contribution, BL would have made an operating loss of £23-2m in the first half according to the board.
This admission is bound to be seized on by those critics in Parliament and among BL’s surviving private shareholders who have argued that it makes no commercial sense for BL to sell its most profitable division. BL’s sales revenue was up by £160m to £1831. Austin Rover and Unipart made small profit advances.