Jaguar Land Rover enjoyed a 575 per cent rise in pre-tax profit for its third quarter, it announced today (Jan 29) – up by £374m on the previous quarter to £439m.
It was also a £121m year-on-year rise, with JLR seeing a record third-quarter cash flow of £562m.
The manufacturer said: ‘The significant improvement reflects revenue of £6bn, up £1.6bn from Q2 while still lower than pre-Covid levels a year ago.’
Sales in China were up 20 per cent on the prior quarter and up by nearly a fifth (19.1 per cent) year on year.
Most other regions were also up on the preceding quarter although down from 2019’s third quarter.
This was the first full quarter for new chief executive Thierry Bolloré, who said he was ‘encouraged by the improved financial performance’ and praised staff.
‘This performance is a credit to the outstanding efforts of the employees of Jaguar Land Rover to overcome many challenges this year.
‘I would like to thank every one of our colleagues for their contribution, particularly those who are working safely in our plants and facilities,’ he said.
‘Looking ahead, these challenges continue, including the Covid pandemic and its impact on the global economy, the UK’s new trading relationship with the EU and the significant technological changes taking place in the automotive industry.
‘In this environment, I’m working with my management team on plans to realise an exciting future for Jaguar Land Rover, which I look forward to sharing in due course.’
The three months to December 31, 2020 saw it shift 128,469 vehicles, which was up 13.1 per cent on the second quarter but still nine per cent lower than pre-Covid levels a year ago.
Sales of the new Land Rover Defender grew by 66 per cent on the previous quarter to 16,286 units.
Adrian Mardell, Jaguar Land Rover chief financial officer, said: ‘We are pleased to report these strong profits and record third-quarter cash flows.
‘It reflects our focus on prioritising profitable sales and delivering cost and cash improvements.
‘While sales have not yet fully recovered to pre-Covid levels in most markets, it was pleasing to see China sales up year on year for the second quarter in a row and sales of the new Defender continuing to grow.’
JLR added that it was encouraged by December’s Brexit trade deal as well as the approval of effective anti-Covid vaccines, which promised ‘an eventual end to the pandemic’.
It was, however, wary of the increased customs administration requirements, despite avoiding the risk of tariffs on parts and vehicles themselves, but it still expected to see sales improve gradually.