Automobile

Strategy change triggers JLR Q4 and full year losses

After exceptional charges, Tata Motors’ Jaguar Land Rover reported a pre-tax loss of GBP952m for the final quarter and GBP861m for the full fiscal year 2020/21.

In February 2021 the company announced a new global strategy and this will trigger GBP1.5bn of exceptional charges in the fourth quarter, including GBP952m of non-cash write downs of prior investments and GBP534m of restructuring charges expected to be paid in fiscal 2021/22.

JLR booked pre-tax profits of GBP534m in Q4 and GBP662m for the full year before exceptional charges.

EBIT margin grew to 7.5% in Q4 and 2.6% for the full year.

Revenue was up 20.5% to GBP6.5bn in Q4 led by strong sales in China and global sales of new Land Rover Defender

The Charge+ programme delivered Q4 cost and cash flow savings of GBP332m, lifting full year savings to GBP2.5bn and the lifetime total to GBP6.0bn.

The automaker said business continued to recover following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and retail sales in the fourth quarter were 123,483 vehicles, up 12.4% year on year. This was supported by a strong recovery in China, where sales grew 127% over Q4 last year, when the impact of COVID peaked in that market. Full year retails of 439,588 vehicles were still down 13.6% although sales in China increased 23.4% year-on-year. The new Land Rover Defender contributed significantly to retail sales, with 16,963 units sold in Q4 and 45,244 units for the full year.

“We are pleased to have been able to continue to generate improved cash flow and profitability in Q4, despite the ongoing challenges of COVID-19 on both retailers and the supply chain. It was particularly satisfying to achieve a 7.5% EBIT margin in Q4 and positive cash flow for the full year. The strengthened performance reflects the success of our efforts to improve quality of sales and the cost structure of the business, as well as a focus on driving cash flow through Project Charge+,” said CFO Adrian Mardell.

The company said increasing COVID vaccination rates were encouraging for the ultimate recovery of the global economy and automotive industry from the effects of the pandemic. However, cases are still high in many markets while supply chain issues, in particular for semi-conductors, have become more difficult to mitigate and are now impacting production plans for Q1. The company is working closely with affected suppliers to resolve the issues and minimise the effect on customers.

For Fiscal 2021/22, Jaguar Land Rover expects sales to continue to recover. The company is still targeting an EBIT margin of at least 4.0% and break-even free cash flow after c.GBP2.5bn of investment and c.GBP0.5bn of restructuring costs that have already been accrued.



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