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Sports car maker Group Lotus hails long-awaited return to profitability

PUBLISHED: 09:13 11 August 2017 | UPDATED: 16:38 11 August 2017

Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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Sports car manufacturer Group Lotus has hailed a milestone in the business after making a long-awaited return to profitability.

A strong second half to the year and accelerating sales in mainland Europe and North America helped the company deliver on its much-heralded turnaround plan.

It reported a EBITDA figure of £2m – a measure of a company’s underlying profitability – which represented an £18.2m improvement on the previous year.

ANALYSIS: Geely deal a “shot in the arm”.

It cut its full-year losses to £11.2m in 2016/17, an improvement on the £41.2m loss the year before. In a statement, Lotus said second-half pre-tax profits were £10m up on the first half of the year, putting it on track to make a full-year profit in 2017/18.

The EDP/EADT Top 100 company, which reported a turnover of £89m, said the results allowed it to look ahead following its acquisition by Chinese car giant Geely, announced in May.

The Hethel car-maker had repeatedly forecast it would return to profitability over the past year, as a three-year turnaround plan took effect.

QUIZ: How much do you know about Lotus?

Group Lotus chief executive Jean-Marc Gales said: “This is a proud moment for Lotus and to have achieved so much is testament to the hard work of all our staff.

“Our vastly improved profitability, together with an increase in revenue means that for the first time in many years Lotus is now a self-sufficient and sustainable business.”

Mr Gales said the acquisition by Geely meant Lotus had an environment in which it could flourish and would continue to develop new vehicles and technologies.

He added: “We have emerged from the last three years a fitter and more effective business, where we are fast in bringing new sports cars to market and agile in adapting to new opportunities.

“We are now in a perfect position to develop the next generation of Lotus sports cars and the 850 highly skilled staff at our headquarters in Norfolk and around the world who have such passion for the business and are ready to take the next steps in the exciting history of the company.”

Geely, which also owns Volvo, bought 51% of Lotus in a deal which is reported to have valued the group at £100m.

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