The car maker, which has plants in the Midlands and Merseyside, sold 314,433 vehicles in the year to March 31, the most in the history of Jaguar and Land Rover. This meant revenues rose 37% to £13.5bn and pre-tax profits grew from £1.1bn last year, which was also a record, to £1.51bn.
The figures confirm the revival in British car making and are further good news for the industry after General Motors confirmed it would invest in its Ellesmere Port site in Cheshire rather than close it. The increase on last year’s results was led by a 76% rise in Chinese sales to 50,994 and the worldwide popularity of the new Range Rover Evoque.
However, JLR also secured sales growth across Europe despite the eurozone debt crisis and the overall new car market shrinking. The UK, which remains JLR’s biggest market, saw sales rise 3.2% to 60,022, while North American sales increased 15.4% to 58,003, Russia increased 38.1% to 16,142 and German sales rose 22.3% to 13,675.
Meanwhile, France posted a 57.4% growth in JLR sales, while Spain was up 18.1%. Ralf Speth, chief executive, said: ‘The announcement of JLR’s financial results is a positive reflection of the continued level of consumer confidence in both of our brands. These record earnings, driven by strong product demand and operating efficiencies, give JLR the financial impetus to sustain its ongoing investment programme.’
More than £4bn of investment has been committed to the UK by car makers in the last 12 months and the country is exporting more cars than it imports for the first time since 1976. Much of the investment and growth has come from JLR, which employs 21,000 staff in the UK.
JLR has been turned around under Tata after it tried to seek financial assistance from the Labour government in 2009 and was rejected. To keep up with demand, JLR is looking to expand all three of its UK plants at Halewood, Castle Bromwich and Solihull and is building a new engine factory in Wolverhampton. The car maker also plans to produce cars in China for the domestic market.
[Source: The Telegraph]