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Holden posts record profit

Commodore is king: Commodore maintained its title as Australia's most popular car for the sixth year running.

Holden's sales dominance bears fruit in the company's latest financial result

Holden logo10 May 2002

COMMODORE'S sales dominance in 2001 was reflected by figures revealed yesterday that show Holden achieved more than $5 billion in revenue for the first time last year.

The 2001 financial result, announced yesterday by Holden chairman and managing director Peter Hanenberger, also reveals Holden's net after-tax profit was $285 million - an increase of 20.2 per cent on 2000 figures.

The outstanding financial results, which bring Holden's profits over the past four years to $823 million, come on the back of its best sales in 28 years and continued export business during 2001.

Holden exported 28,784 vehicles in 2001 (20,931 of them to the Middle East) plus 150,555 four-cylinder engines, earning it $1.16 billion.

Meanwhile, Holden allocated $223.4 million in capital expenditure in 2001, up $90.6 million or 68.2 per cent on 2000 figures, and allocated $190 million to research and development projects, up $41 million or 27 per cent.

Mr Hanenberger said the pleasing result would allow Holden to maintain its aggressive growth plans in the areas of production and research and development, which will benefit from a $2 billion capital expenditure program over the next five years.

The results allowed Holden to pay parent company General Motors a dividend of $251 million, while Holden said it paid $190 million in federal and state company, payroll and fringe benefits taxes.

"The past year has been a milestone for Holden in a buoyant, competitive marketplace and provided solid foundations for our growth plan across the next decade," said Mr Hanenberger.

"Holden vehicle sales have risen 33.3 per cent in the past five years while the overall market has risen 18.9 per cent. Increased market share is a reflection of Holden's improved ability to deliver exciting products that customers want, which is the fundamental measure of success.

"Holden has captured market leadership in two of the past three years with a broad range of exciting, appealing vehicles and our investment plans for 2002-2006 are designed to maintain this wide coverage.

"Importantly, this means participating in segments in which Holden has not previously been a serious participant.

"It is only through continued growth at a domestic and international level that we can sustain the capital expenditure needed to accelerate Holden into a legitimate global niche manufacturer achieving production of 180,000 cars a year."Holden built a total of 132,390 vehicles at its Elizabeth plant in South Australia last year, plus 255,308 engines at Fishermens Bend in Victoria. Of the 165,577 vehicles sold by Holden in 2001, 135,339 were passenger cars and 30,238 were commercials.

On the road, that translated to Holden's highest market share since 1973. The company's total market share of 21.4 per cent was 2.4 points up on 2000, while its passenger car share of 25.6 per cent was 3.5 points higher.

Commodore maintained its title as Australia's most popular car for the sixth year running, its 85,422 units alone representing 15.4 per cent of the total passenger car market.

Mitsubishi Motors Australia previously announced a $16 million profit for 2001, with Ford Australia losing $5.5 million and Toyota Australia yet to announce what is expected to be a small profit.

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