Jaguar Land Rover posts £3.6 billion annual loss

JLR makes huge annual loss mainly down to a 34 per cent sales hit in China, but does post a profit in final quarter

JLR front end

Jaguar Land Rover has posted a £3.6 billion annual loss, mainly down to a huge downgrading of JLR assets in the third quarter of the 2018/19 financial year.

Overall, the company made a loss of £358m with the asset write-down and redundancy costs for the financial year removed. But a £120m pre-tax profit in Q4, covering January to March, has been posted and is inclusive of redundancy costs, following a large round of cost cutting.

JLR boss stops short of denying PSA takeover

Uncertainties over diesel and Brexit continue to dog the firm, but JLR pointed out falling demand in China as one of the key reasons behind its yearly loss. While the firm claims retail sales in the UK and America are up 8.4 and 8.1 per cent respectively, Chinese sales dropped 34.1 per cent. In total, JLR claims 579,000 retail sales for 2018/19, down 5.8 per cent on 17/18.

Chinese market conditions are weakening, largely in part due to economic uncertainty surrounding trade disputes with the United States. The total Chinese market declined by 5.1 per cent in Q1 2019, while JLR claims that sales of premium mid-size and full-size SUVs fell 19 and 15 per cent respectively.

Regardless of a big slump in demand for premium SUVs in China, the Land Rover wing of the company continued to be the main breadwinner. The Discovery Sport was JLR’s most popular model over the financial year with 88,000 retail units shifted. The outgoing Evoque tallied up 68,200 sales, while 11,300 sales of the all-electric Jaguar I-Pace were reported.

Revenue over the 2018/19 period totalled £24.2 billion – a drop of £1.2 billion on the 2017/18 financial year.

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