China helps Jaguar to £1.5bn profit
The Midlands-based manufacturer, owned by Indian company Tata Motors, reported a 35% rise in its surplus for the year to the end of March, boosted by strong demand for its Range Rover Evoque.
The number of cars JLR sold over the course of the year hit a record 314,433, up 29% on the previous year, while revenues increased 37% to £13.5 billion.
The UK remained its biggest market for retail sales, up 3.2% to 60,000. But its two second biggest markets closed the gap, with China, where the booming middle classes continue to show a strong appetite for Western luxury goods, up 76%, and North America seeing 15% growth.
JLR enjoyed a strong final quarter of its financial year, with the number of cars it sold up 48% to 98,000. Of these, 19% went to China, compared with 13% in the same period the previous year.
The company, which employs 21,000 staff in the UK, has seen a dramatic turnaround in fortunes in recent years since the car market collapsed in the recession and it slumped to a loss.
Roger Maddison, national officer of the Unite union, said JLR's success was "a testament to the hard work and sacrifices of its UK workforce".
He added: "During the 2008 credit crunch the workers agreed to £70 million of savings to support the company through the downturn. Tata's faith in its UK workforce has paid off with record profits. In a major turn around, JLR will have recruited over 5,000 new employees by the end of this year.
"It proves that investing in the UK motor industry and working positively with the union does create wealth."
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