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Profits accelerate at Jaguar Land Rover

By Simon Penfold | Business | Published:

Jaguar Land Rover has defied gloom over recent sales figures in the UK and Europe to reveal soaring profit figures.

The new Range Rover Velar is helping boost sales and profits at Jaguar Land Rover

For the last three months pre-tax profits jumped by more than a third, up 38 per cent to £385 million.

Meanwhile revenue was up 11.5 per cent to £6.3 billion as sales in the second quarter of the company's financial year rose five per cent to 149,690 cars.

The West Midlands-based luxury carmaker hailed strong customer demand for its Range Rover Velar and other new models

The company, which makes its two litre Ingenium petrol and diesel engines at its £1bn i54 engine plant on the border of Wolverhampton, beside the M54, said its higher sales and profit figures reflected the continuing ramp-up of new models such as the Velar, the Land Rover Discovery, Jaguar's XF Sportbrake and F-Pace and, in China, the longer bodied Jaguar XFL. This limousine version of the XF big saloon is made specifically for JLR's vital Chinese market.

As a result a 27.4 per cent surge in sales in China, alongside steady growth of 5.1 per cent in the US, offset recent lower sales figures from the UK and Europe.

Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover's chief executive officer, said: “We have delivered solid growth in quarterly profit and revenues amid rising demand for our award-winning products.

"Although we are facing headwinds and uncertainty in some markets, Jaguar Land Rover is well positioned to deliver further global expansion.”

As part of the company’s ongoing product offensive, manufacturing expansion and new technology programme, Jaguar Land Rover’s investment spending was more than £1 billion in the second quarter. Investment spending for the full year is expected to exceed £4 billion.

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That includes expansion at its huge engine factory in Wolverhampton, which has grown to a £1bn facility employing more than 1,500 people. It has doubled in size over the last year, now extending to 2 million sq ft.

Mr Speth addded: “Our product portfolio continues to excite and surprise. The all-new Land Rover Discovery is now on sale everywhere and exciting new and existing customers, while the new Velar, the fourth Range Rover, is now enticing a new audience and helping to drive sales growth.

“Looking ahead to the rest of the year, we will continue to focus on our strategic objective of achieving profitable, sustainable growth and will continue to adapt and innovate in the current challenging market conditions.”

The investment programme at JLR this year includes a new factory being built in Slovakia to cope with growing demand after its three UK car production factories – at Solihull, Castle Bromwich and Halewood – hit capacity.

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The company has also launched new cars such as the Range Rover Velar, the latest version of the Land Rover Discovery and the Jaguar XF Sportbrake sporty estate. Next year will see the launch of its compact performance SUV, the E-Pace – a smaller version of the hugely popular F-Pace – as well as a revamp for the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, including plug-in hybrid models, and the new all-electric Jaguar I-Pace SUV.

Over the last seven years JLR has more than doubled its sales, employment and revenue figures, pumping more than £16 million into new and existing factories and into developing new vehicles.

The majority of its 42,000-strong workforce is in the UK but it now makes cars in China, Brazil, Austria and Slovakia.

Meanwhile the company is gearing up for its deadline of 2020 for all new Jaguar Land Rover vehicles to be electrified.

Simon Penfold

By Simon Penfold
Business Editor - @SPenfold_star

Business Editor based at the Express & Star's head office in Wolverhampton, looking for stories big & small.

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