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Jaguar Land Rover returns to profit

Luxury car giant Jaguar Land Rover returned to pre-tax profit in the three months to September.

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Sales of the new Land Rover Defender have helped profits recover

It made £65 million on revenue of £4.4 billion in the period in which it sold 113,569 cars – up 53.3% on the previous quarter but down 11.9 per cent year-on-year due to the Covid-19 crisis.

Sales in most markets continued to be impacted by Covid-19, but encouragingly in China were up 14.6% on the quarter and 3.7 per cent on the year.

Worldwide sales of the new Land Rover Defender rose to 4,508 last month.

The profit compared to a loss of £413m in the three months to June but was lower than the pre-Covid profit of £156m a year ago.

Cost and cash improvements from the Project Charge transformation programme in the quarter totalled £600m. Total savings year-to-date are now £1.8bn and the company is on track to achieve the £2.5bn target for the full year ending March 31.

JLR chief financial officer Adrian Mardell said JLR, which has its Engine Manufacturing Centre at the i54 north of Wolverhampton, said they were pleased to see sales, profitability and cash flow significantly improve from the previous quarter.

"While sales and profitability have not fully recovered to pre-pandemic levels in most markets, it was particularly encouraging to see China sales up year-on-year and global sales of the new Land Rover Defender starting to ramp up."

All of Jaguar Land Rover’s manufacturing facilities have now resumed production, with the plants at Solihull and Halewood, Nitra in Slovakia and the EMC now increased to two shifts as demand for the company’s vehicles has continued to recover.

A gradual improvement in sales is expected to continue and will be supported by new and refreshed products, including the short wheel-base Land Rover Defender 90, the refreshed Jaguar F-PACE, as well as 2021 model year Range Rover Velar, Jaguar XF and Jaguar XE.

Thierry Bollore, who became JLR chief executive on September 10, said: "Although Jaguar Land Rover is not immune to the headwinds impacting the global automotive industry, it has the foundations in place to generate long-term sustainable profitability. I have been encouraged by the strengths of the company – reflected by its brand appeal and the capabilities of its employees – that will enable it to seize new opportunities in a rapidly-changing industry. I am confident these qualities and a strong product strategy with a focus on financial discipline will equip Jaguar Land Rover to address challenges in the period ahead."

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