Jaguar Land Rover quarterly profits double to £842m

Jaguar logo Tata Motors' performance has been helped by sales at Jaguar Land Rover

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Profits at luxury car maker Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) more than doubled in the last three months of 2013.

The UK company made profits of £842m, up from £404m for the same quarter in 2012, on revenues of £5.3bn.

Sales during the third quarter rose 27% year-on-year to 112,172 vehicles, driven by the popularity of the Jaguar XJ and XF, and the Range Rover Sport.

JLR's results underpinned profits at its parent, India's Tata Motors, which jumped to 48bn rupees (£470m).

JLR chief executive Ralf Speth said the West Midlands company's results were "a testament to the quality" of its cars.

Tata Motors bought JLR in 2008 from Ford $2.3bn (£1.15bn), and has invested heavily in new models and research.

During 2013 as a whole, JLR sold a record 425,006 saloons and sports utility vehicles, with sales particularly strong in Brazil, China, India and the US.

Profits at Tata Motors' Indian operations were boosted by a one-time 19.5bn rupee accounting gain, as a result of Tata selling its stake in its South Korean subsidiary to its Singapore subsidiary.

Tata's own quarterly profits - which were up 195% - beat analysts' forecasts. However, this rise masks a continuing struggle in its home market.

Moribund sales

Tata Motors has been suffering in India, where higher fuel costs and rising interest rates have put a brake on car sales.

Sales of Tata's trucks and buses have also fallen on the back of India's weak economy.

Last week, at the Delhi Motor Show, Tata Motors unveiled its first new models in four years in a bid to reverse the decline.

The vehicles' launch was part of a turnaround plan that investors fear may be delayed after the company's managing director, Karl Slym, died in Bangkok in what police said may have been a suicide.

The company has set up a panel, headed by Tata group's chairman Cyrus Mistry, to oversee its operations and strategy as an interim measure after Mr Slym's death.

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