By BUSINESS NEWS STAFF
British Leyland Motor Corporation, Britain’s major motor manufacturer, yesterday announced pre-tax profits of £40.4m. for its latest financial year. This is 12 per cent more than was achieved the year before, excluding the bonus from devaluation. Sales were 7 per cent up at £970m.
Lord Stokes, chairman and managing director, warned that results for the first quarter of the current year “compared unfavourably with the corresponding period last year. due atmost entirely to labour troubles and the credit squeeze.”
Motor industry sources indicated last night that Leyland produced about 1-1m. vehicles in the financial year, compared with 1,050,000 in the previous one. But its less profitable export quota rose from 45 to 50 per cent. Although the group was hit as hard as anyone in actual sales on the home market in 1969, B.L.M.C.’s market share rose marginally from 40.83 per cent in 1967-68 to 41.05 per cent in 1968-69.
In the last three months of the calendar year, which Lord Stokes said yesterday compared unfavourably with last year, the group’s market share began to fall; it was 38.07 per cent in October, 34.38 in November. and may be even lower when December’s figures are published.