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On the road to profitability

June 18, 2014

McLaren Automotive made both an operating and pre-tax profit for the first time in 2013, during only its third year of car production. This is a significant achievement for an independent British car company operating in such a highly-competitive global market, analysts say.Partly-owned by Bahrain's sovereign wealth fund, Mumtalakat, McLaren Automotive says the results back the company's business model, which is to invest continuously in research and development (R&D) in order to sell the world's most 'exciting and technologically-advanced' high performance cars.The company has also confirmed that its next new sports car, codenamed P13, and revealed exclusively in GulfWeekly back in 2012, will be available before the end of 2015 and will take its range into a lower price-point.At the time insiders said it would be an 'entry level challenger' to the Porsche 911 and although no marques were mentioned last week, the company says it will make McLaren 'more accessible', while retaining its commitment to excellence, performance and innovation."P13 will be a comfortable, usable, and beautiful mid-engined two-seater sports car, built around a carbon fibre chassis," a spokesman said. It will be available in more than one style and once fully on sale, McLaren Automotive's total annual production will increase to around 4,000 cars per year. Price details have not been announced although industry insiders suggest it might start at around BD50,000, half the price of the 12C launch car.At the other end of its range, McLaren Automotive has also confirmed that it will produce a limited run of track-only editions of its award-winning McLaren P1 hypercar. Available only to clients who have ordered one of the 375 road-legal versions, the car will be the company's most powerful car yet. It will also be its rarest.Ron Dennis, chief executive and chairman of the McLaren Group and chairman of McLaren Automotive said: "Since launch, McLaren Automotive has outperformed predictions and rivals, setting new benchmarks in the sports car market with a range of models that push boundaries through innovation and technology, while remaining true to the core values of the brand. "The latest financial results, and returning a profit so early in the life of the company, are a real credit to the tremendous team within McLaren Automotive, and reflect their hard efforts." Mike Flewitt, chief executive of McLaren Automotive added: "McLaren Automotive has already developed a deserved reputation for producing the world's most exciting and technologically advanced high performance sports cars. But these results demonstrate that we have also established a profitable long-term business, which is able to invest heavily in R&D, recruit the best people and ultimately create world class products. In a highly competitive market, we have laid solid foundations for future success. "We are now focussing upon the road ahead. The McLaren 650S is already selling extremely well with over 1,000 orders received and P13 is a very exciting project, which will help us to access new markets and customers, grow our sales volumes and ultimately increase both revenue and profitability. I am confident that by maintaining our commitment to innovation and excellence McLaren Automotive has an extremely bright future."As a result of on-target global car sales, McLaren Automotive's revenues rose by 18.8 million (BD11.66 million) to 285.4 million (BD177 million) in 2013. The company delivered 1,359 12Cs and 36 examples of the McLaren P1 during the year.In line with its long-term business plan, the company has continued to invest in the infrastructure, personnel and new technology required to support future growth. McLaren Automotive's spend on R&D and the development of new models increased by 2.5 million (BD1.55 million) to 70.6 million (BD44 million) in 2013. When McLaren Automotive was launched, it promised to unveil a new car or derivative every year. It continued to deliver on that promise during 2013, with the launch of the McLaren P1 at the Geneva International Motor Show. The most technologically advanced car ever produced in the UK, just 375 will be produced all of which sold out within six months of being announced. Production began on schedule last September and more than 100 are now in customers' hands.In 2013 McLaren Automotive also continued to expand its geographical reach, opening 13 new showrooms and growing its global network to 50 retailers in 28 international markets. This included opening four new retailers in China in Shanghai; Beijing; Guangzhou and Chengdu. The company plans to open another 20 retailers during 2014 and to have over 100 locations in its global network by 2018.McLaren Automotive began 2014 with the launch of the new 650S CoupÉ and Spider. This was the first time in its short history that two models had been launched simultaneously across all its 28 global markets. The company says it is on track for even greater success in 2014, and the recent appointment of Jolyon Nash as executive director, global sales and marketing, will further strengthen the team when he joins onJuly 1, bringing a wealth of experience of the luxury market.The group expects to continue delivering strongly against its ambitious growth plan during 2014. Total global sales volumes are expected to remain broadly in line with 2013. However, both turnover and profit are predicted to increase, driven by sales of the McLaren P1.

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Source: Gulf Weekly (Bahrain)

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