LONDON -- UK sports car maker McLaren Automotive said its 2014 pretax profit rose threefold, helped by rising sales in China.
Pretax profit last year rose to 15 million pounds [$24 million] on revenue of 474.5 million pounds, the company said in a statement on Thursday, up from 4.5 million pounds on sales of 285.5 million pounds the year before.
McLaren said its vehicle sales increased 18 percent to 1,649 in 2014. The 650S Coupe and Spider accounted for 1,401 of those sales while 248 units were sold of the P1.
Vehicle sales rose most - at 80 percent - in the Asia-Pacific region where 11 new dealerships are helping to fuel growth, the statement said. North America remained the company’s largest market accounting for more than 30 percent of overall sales.
McLaren expects to increase annual production to 4,000 by 2017 thanks to its new entry level Sports Series lineup. The company unveiled the 570S Coupe at the New York auto show in April, followed by the 540C Coupe a few weeks later at Shanghai show. Another body style, likely to be an open-topped Spider, will launch next year with another model coming in 2017.
The cheapest 540C version will cost 126,000 pounds when it goes on sale later this year for delivery in early 2016, pitching it against Audi’s R8 and higher-end versions of the Porsche 911.
McLaren said it invested 91.8 million pounds in r&d last year, representing almost 20 percent of revenue and up from 67 million in 2013.
The niche automaker was launched in 2010 as a sister company to the Formula One motor racing team with which it shares a brand and overlapping technologies. McLaren Automotive CEO Mike Flewitt said in the statement that the company's second consecutive year of profitability in the four years since it opened its first retailer was "unprecedented" in the modern-era industry.
Reuters contributed to this report