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Jaguar Land Rover Q3 net profit up 57 per cent

Better product and market mix boosted sales

British carmaker Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), owned by Tata Motors of India, has reported a net profit of £440.4m for the third quarter ended 31 December 2011, an increase of 57.4 per cent compared with £279.9m for the same period a year ago.

JLR posted net revenue of £3.74bn for the third quarter of 2011, an increase of 41 per cent compared with £2.65bn for the same period in 2010. EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) was £751.9m for the third quarter of 2011, an increase of 62.6 per cent compared with £462.4m for the same period in 2010.

In a statement, Tata Motors said that during the third quarter economic conditions and financial markets within the UK and euro zone have remained volatile. During this period, interest rates have remained constant.

The growth of automobile market in China and Russia particularly in the sports utility vehicle (SUV) and luxury model segments has helped the company to enhance its sales. Apart from fluctuation in exchange rates during the quarter, better product and market mix have boosted sales for the company.

In the UK, Jaguar and Land Rover wholesale volumes were 3,053 and 11,176 units respectively for the quarter, while combined retail volumes were 12,593 units in the third quarter of 2011, an increase of 15 per cent over third quarter of 2010.

Total retail volumes for the third quarter of 2011 in the European region were 18,695, an increase of 46 per cent compared to third quarter of 2010.

For the nine months of 2011, Jaguar Land Rover reported sales of 216,412 units, an increase of 21.9 per cent compared with corresponding period last year. Sales grew primarily due to strong growth in China and Russia.

JLR’s recently introduced SUV Range Rover Evoque recorded sales of approximately 32,000 wholesale units by the end of December 2011.

Photo: Getty Images
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David Cameron’s starter homes: poor policy, but good politics

David Cameron's electoral coalition of buy-to-let retirees and dual-earner couples remains intact: for now.

The only working age demographic to do better under the Coalition was dual-earner couples – without children. They were the main beneficiaries of the threshold raise – which may “take the poorest out of tax” in theory but in practice hands a sizeable tax cut to peope earning above average. They will reap the fruits of the government’s Help to Buy ISAs. And, not having children, they were insulated from cuts to child tax credits, reductions in public services, and the rising cost of childcare. (Childcare costs now mean a couple on average income, working full-time, find that the extra earnings from both remaining in work are wiped out by the costs of care)

And they were a vital part of the Conservatives’ electoral coalition. Voters who lived in new housing estates on the edges of seats like Amber Valley and throughout the Midlands overwhelmingly backed the Conservatives.

That’s the political backdrop to David Cameron’s announcement later today to change planning to unlock new housing units – what the government dubs “Starter Homes”. The government will redefine “affordable housing”  to up to £250,000 outside of London and £450,000 and under within it, while reducing the ability of councils to insist on certain types of buildings. He’ll describe it as part of the drive to make the next ten years “the turnaround decade”: years in which people will feel more in control of their lives, more affluent, and more successful.

The end result: a proliferation of one and two bedroom flats and homes, available to the highly-paid: and to that vital component of Cameron’s coalition: the dual-earner, childless couple, particularly in the Midlands, where the housing market is not yet in a state of crisis. (And it's not bad for that other pillar of the Conservative majority: well-heeled pensioners using buy-to-let as a pension plan.)

The policy may well be junk-rated but the politics has a triple A rating: along with affluent retirees, if the Conservatives can keep those dual-earner couples in the Tory column, they will remain in office for the forseeable future.

Just one problem, really: what happens if they decide they want room for kids? Cameron’s “turnaround decade” might end up in entirely the wrong sort of turnaround for Conservative prospects.

Stephen Bush is editor of the Staggers, the New Statesman’s political blog.