Fleet News

Rover in profit, but strong pound brings fears

ROVER Group has announced an operating profit of £31 million for 1997, compared to losses of £29 million in 1996. Under parent company BMW's German accounting methods, after interest and the effects of depreciation, Rover Group made a loss of £91 million, compared to £119 million in 1996.

Revenue increased from £6,475 million in 1996 to £6,559 million in 1997, while capital investment in 1997 stood at £564 million compared to £471 million in 1996. Rover Group chairman and chief executive Walter Hasselkus said he was very pleased with the company's result but warned that a similar performance this year would be difficult to achieve with the pound at its current exchange rate.

The announcement of Rover's results came as BMW - which has so far invested £2 billion - pronounced 1997 its most successful year ever, with revenue topping DM 60 billion for the first time - compared to DM 52.2 billion in 1996. Annual net earnings were up 52% to over DM 1.2 billion.

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