Tata Motors said its Jaguar Land Rover business swung to a profit in its latest quarter but warned that the coronavirus outbreak in China could hit earnings at the UK automaker.
JLR posted a pretax profit of 318 million pounds ($417 million) in the three months ended Dec. 31 compared with a 273 million pound loss in the same quarter of 2018, Tata said on Thursday.
The improvement reflected a combination of the higher China volume, stronger product mix, lower operating costs and favorable foreign exchange, JLR said in a news release.
Earnings were boosted by a 30 percent rise in global sales of the new Range Rover Evoque; a 24 percent jump in China retail sales; and a 1 percent sales gain in North America. The automaker's total global sales fell 2.3 percent.
JLR said its Project Charge turnaround plan resulted in cost and cash flow improvements of 2.9 billion pounds, exceeding the 2.5 billion pounds target three months ahead of schedule. The next phase will deliver a further 1.1 billion pounds of cost and cashflow improvements by March 2021, the company said.
JLR is cutting 4,500 jobs out of its 42,500 workforce, following a cooling of China's auto market and a slump in demand for its diesel-powered vehicles.
The company said order books are building up strongly for the new Land Rover Defender, whose deliveries start in spring.