Jaguar Land Rover demand helps Tata post profit

Jaguar Land Rover parent Tata says it posted a $543 million net income for the fiscal year, boosted in part by its British luxury car and SUV units.

Indian conglomerate Tata's investment in British marques Jaguar and Land Rover appears to be paying off: The group posted a $543 million net income for its fiscal year, which ended in March, helped out be Jaguar Land Rover's pre-tax profit of $46 million.

Tata's figures, released this morning, were up about 50 percent over what analysts had predicted.

Jaguar Land Rover's boost came at a cost to its employees, however. The automaker has let go of 2,200 employees since it came under Tata ownership in 2008. Sales increased by about 25,000 units in 2009 to 193,982 for the combined brands, while Tata-branded cars, trucks and buses found 667,971 new owners last year.

"They have taken many steps in the right direction," said Juergen Maier of Raiffeisen Capital Management in an interview with Bloomberg. "With their local sales also picking up, Tata Motors can continue to surprise on the upside."

Analysts are bullish about Jaguar Land Rover's future; Land Rover sales continue to surge and Jaguar is in the midst of a product renaissance.

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