Soaring sales of the Merseyside-produced Range Rover Evoque have helped Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) to quarterly profits of £404m.
JLR is reporting revenues of £3.8bn for the three months to December 31 last year after seeing global vehicle sales during the period rise 14% to 88,658. The quarterly profit figure is 21% down on last year due to falling margins and higher capital expenditure.
The company, which is owned by India’s Tata Motors, employs 4,500 people at its plant in Merseyside assembling the Evoque and the Freelander 2.
The latest results mean JLR’s pre-tax profits for the nine months to December 31 are up 20% to £1.2bn. Revenues for the period rose by £1.4bn to £10.7bn.
JLR’s chief financial officer, Ken Gregor, said: “JLR has produced another solid set of results supported by the continued success of the Range Rover Evoque, launch of the all-new Range Rover and further growth in China and other markets.
“We continue to invest in new products and technologies to support our aim of profitable volume growth.”
In 2012, JLR sold 357,773 vehicles, up 30% on the previous year and in January this year it sold 34,877 vehicles, up 32% on the same period last year.
Earlier this week it was reported that the company aims to invest £5bn this year and next in new technology and products.
As well as its factory in Halewood, JLR employs thousands more people at Castle Bromwich and Solihull in the West Midlands.
Its Halewood operation is now so successful that the company is expanding onto a second Merseyside site – a 405,000 sq ft warehouse in Ellesmere Port called The Phoenix.
The facility will serve as a logistics centre for the car maker and around 300 people will be employed there.
In the last two years JLR has created 9,000 new jobs and now employs 25,000 people worldwide. Its vehicles sell in 180 countries.
However, in January, shares in Tata Motors fell after the company warned investors that profits for the current year will be less than expected.
This is partly due to the fact that current best-selling vehicles, including the Evoque, are cheaper than higher-end models and therefore offer lower margins.
With sales of the Evoque booming to 118,000 a year, this model now accounts for a higher proportion of the company’s total sales mix.
However, the company has recently started selling its new Range Rover model and is to launch the Jaguar F-Type later this year. Both of these vehicles are higher end and are likely to improve margins.