Luxury car maker Jaguar Land Rover has posted pre-tax profit of £439 million as it continues to battle against the impact of the pandemic.
The firm welcomed a quarter-on-quarter rise for the three months to December 31, 2020, up from £374 million during the summer, and also a year-on-year rise of £121 million on the final quarter of 2019.
Revenues for the third quarter of the 2020/21 financial year were £6 billion, up £1.6 billion in the previous quarter, but still lower than pre-covid levels a year ago, the West Midlands manufacturer said.
Jaguar Land Rover, which has plants across the region and in Merseyside alongside its Coventy head office, said it was on track to deliver its £2.5 billion in cost savings for the 12 months to March 31 2021.
Vehicles sales for the three months to the end of 2020 were 128,469 units, a 13.1 per cent increase quarter on quarter but down nine per cent on the final three months of 2019.
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Chief financial officer Adrian Mardell said: “We are pleased to report these strong profits.
“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.”
Jaguar Land Rover, which had always been a supporter of remaining in the EU, said it was “encouraged” by the Brexit trade deal agreed in December with uncertainty over negotiations being a huge problem for manufacturers.
The trade deal has avoided the risk of tariffs on automotive parts and finished vehicles although there will still be increased customs administration requirements.
It also welcomed the approval of covid-19 vaccines and said all of its plants and the majority of its retailers were now open where possible.
The company said it continued to expect a gradual improvement in sales, supported by new and refreshed vehicles incorporating the latest technologies.