Jaguar Land Rover begins recovery from £861m loss in 2020

Jaguar Land Rover has posted pre-tax profits of £534 million in the first three months of 2021 before exceptional charges, with boss Thierry Bolloré saying the result shows the “significant progress” made under the firm’s bold transformation strategy.

But the British car maker, owned by the Indian Tata Group, will record an annual loss of £861m for the financial year ending 31 March, due to charges incurred as part of its cost-cutting transformation plan.

Jaguar Land Rover sold 123,483 vehicles in the first three months of 2021, representing a 12.4% year-on-year rise. It was boosted by a strong performance in China, where sales where up 127% over the same period last year, when the country was worst hit by Covid-19 restrictions.

While Jaguar Land Rover’s total sales of 439,588 vehicles was down 13.6% on the 2019/2020 financial year, the firm was boosted by year-on-year growth in China and the strong performance of the new Defender, 45,255 examples of which were sold during the financial year.

The strong results for the last quarter boosted Jaguar Land Rover’s annual pre-tax profits for the financial year to 31 March before exceptional charges to £662 million. But the firm incurred £1.5 billion of exceptional charges, including £952m in non-cash investment write-downs and £534m of restructuring charges. That means the company will record an annual loss of £861m, compared with a loss of £422m for 2019/2020.

Jaguar Land Rover cited £332m in profit and cash improvements relating to its Project Charge+ restructure plan in the final quarter, which it says brings the total saving to £6 billion since the programme was launched in 2018.

Bolloré said: “I have been encouraged by the company’s resilience and strong recovery during a uniquely challenging year.”

He added: “Our strategy is ambitious and it will make us more agile, efficient and sustainable. Although it is still early days, we have made significant progress in implementing it. This has reaffirmed my confidence that we have the right strategy, the right people and the right product plans to deliver against our targets. Jaguar Land Rover is well placed to emerge from the pandemic as a stronger and more resilient company that is able to navigate and capitalise on the opportunities ahead.”