Rover makes first profit since takeover

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The Independent Online
ROVER made an operating profit last year for the first time since being taken over by BMW of Germany in 1994, writes Michael Harrison. However, its chairman Dr Walter Hasselkus warned the strong pound would hit its performance this year.

The operating profit of pounds 31m in 1997 compares with a loss of pounds 29m the previous year. On a German accounting basis Rover made a bottom line loss after depreciation and interest charges of pounds 91m in 1997 compared with a loss of pounds 119m in 1996 and pounds 158m in 1995.

The losses reflect BMW's high level of investment in Rover. Since 1994 it has injected more than pounds 2bn, created 4,000 jobs, launched five new models - Range Rover, MGF, Rover 200, Rover 400 and Freelander - and raised output by 20 per cent.

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