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Stunning figures from Jaguar Land Rover

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has revealed that it made record profits of £1.7 billion during the last financial year. The figures were boosted by a near 50% increase in sales to China. The Midlands based firm, now owned by Indian giant, Tata, even managed to increase sales by 20% in the gloomy UK economy. The stellar performance was helped by a raft of new models in both the Jaguar and Land Rover ranges, which saw turnover also rise to a record £15.8 billion. JLR chief executive, Ralf Speth, commented on the results: "The positive result for the financial year demonstrates that we have strong demand for our great, solid product portfolio all around the world. During this period, Jaguar Land Rover unveiled major new products: the all-new all aluminium Range Rover and the Jaguar Sportbrake, the AWD XF and AWD XJ and the stunning F-Type."

The figures were also helped by a drop in the value of the pound against key currencies and a lowering of raw material costs. JLR's performance will also be a shot in the arm to parent company, Tata, whose own performance has not been so impressive of late. Profits for the Indian firm dropped by 37% to £466 million in the last quarter of the company's financial year. JLR, meanwhile, sold 77,000 cars in China, up by 48% on the previous year. Some 80,000 were sold in the EU, while 72,000 were registered in the UK. JLR is actively consolidating its presence in China by building a new manufacturing plant in the east of the giant country. This measure, in conjunction with local car maker, Cherry, will allow JLR to avoid Chinese import taxes of 25%. The company is also looking to expand its Middle East operations by opening a plant in Saudi Arabia.

Tata bought JLR in 2008 for just £1.5 billion, less than last year's profits for the firm. JLR has now grown to account for some 75% of its Indian parent's revenues. Tata Motors chief financial officer, Mr Ramakrishnan, said: "We see the external environment and overall economic scenario very, very challenging and it will remain stressed." Mr Ramakrishnan's caution was contrasted by JLR chief, Ralf Speth, who said: "Jaguar Land Rover invested significantly in the product creation process, in our advanced manufacturing sites and created more than 3,000 jobs. This commitment is set to continue with a sustained programme of investment which will see us spend in the region of £2.75bn on new product, people and infrastructure in the year to March 2014."

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