Vauxhall swings to first profit in nearly 20 years under new French owners

Opel-Vauxhall has swung to its first profit in nearly 20 years under the new ownership of French firm and Peugeot-maker PSA Group.

The car manufacturer, which is a major employer in the UK, logged €502 million in operating profit in the six months to June 30.

That is compared to the €257m loss reporting for full year 2016, the last full year that the company was still owned by General Motors.

It also marks the first profit logged by the business since 1999.

Revenues for Opel Vauxhall for the last six months came in just shy of €10 billion.

PSA said it logged a 38.1% rise in global sale, having sold a record 2.2 million vehicles.

The boost came in part from an "SUV offensive" that saw 13 models launched by brands including Opel and Vauxhall.

Group revenue for the period €38.6bn, while operating income rose from €1.9bn to €2.3bn for the period.

Group PSA chairman Carlos Tavares said: "The Group demonstrates since 2014 its recurring ability to level up global profitability, efficiency and volumes, despite strong headwinds.

Opel Vauxhall teams start to deliver good results to build the New Opel Vauxhall and are eager to unleash further potential. Our agility and strong focus on execution remain a strong asset to reach our targets.

PSA, which owns Peugeot and Citroen, agreed to buy the loss-making European arm of General Motors (GM) last year, which included the Vauxhall brand.

The move secured GM's exit from the UK and Europe while transforming PSA into Europe's second-largest car maker.

Vauxhall, which has factories in Ellesmere Port and Luton, announced in January plans to slash a further 250 jobs at its Ellesmere Port factory, adding to 400 staff cuts confirmed in October.

It was meant to boost productivity at the Cheshire-based plant by moving to a single production shift from April this year.

It now employs around 1,100 staff manufacture the Vauxhall Astra at Ellesmere Port and a further 1,276 people produce the Vauxhall Vivaro van in Luton.

Around 30,000 people work across the Vauxhall brand, though that figure includes the dealership network, where some staff are not directly employed by the company.

PA


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