However, the improved profits were accompanied by a warning from Reilly that margins were still too low. The Luton-based manufacturer reported pre-tax profits of £72.6 million for 1998, up from £24.4 million in 1997 on turnover of £4.04 billion, slightly down from £4.24 billion in 1997.
Reilly said: '1998 turned out to be a good year for Vauxhall in potentially difficult trading conditions. But our margins are still too low which means further challenges for everyone across our business. With the softening of vehicle sales across Europe, 1999 is going to be a challenging year in our vehicle assembly plants. We will also continue to be selective in our marketing decisions in 1999, as we were in 1998, and not chase market share for the sake of it.'