Bentley is celebrating record results on its ambitious road to full electrification as high net worth customers spend more on bespoke and personalized luxury models with higher profit margins, despite a rollercoaster year.
Operating profit of €708 million (£622 million) for 2022 represented an increase of €319 million (£280 million) on 2021, almost €1 billion (£880 million) higher than the €288 million (£253 million) million) pre-pandemic 2018 losses.
The profit increase came as Bentley also celebrated record sales of 15,174 cars in 2022 – the first time it has sold more than 15,000 cars in a year.
But it was customer spending on lucrative extras, more than extra sales volume, that helped drive overall revenue up 19 percent year-on-year as sales hit €3.38bn (£2.97bn).
Record results: Bentley has confirmed a massive increase in operating profit as vehicle sales exceed 15,000 units per year for the first time in its history in 2022
Bentley said: ‘The most recent full-year figures show a profit of €708 million (£622 million), representing 82 per cent profit growth on four per cent volume growth.’
Return on sales rose to 20.9 percent in 2022, up from 13.7 percent in 2021 and the highest in Bentley’s 104-year history.
This was driven by a ‘significant shift’ in buying patterns, as well-to-do customers opted for higher specification derivatives, more expensive personalized options and extras, and invested more in exclusive Limited Editions and Coachbuilt ‘collectibles’ – such as the Bacalar – which cost around £2m cost. each.
The average price of a car sold had risen from €165,000 (£145,000) in 2018 to €220,000 (£193,000) in 2022, driven by increased demand for personalisation, not price increases, Hallmark said.
But the best-ever ‘milestone’ year for both sales and financial performance also came in the face of unprecedented turbulence and 10 separate crises, four of which could have shut down the prestigious British automaker for up to six months, Bentley chairman and CEO Adriaan admitted. Quality mark.
The average price of a car sold had risen from €165,000 (£145,000) in 2018 to €220,000 (£193,000) in 2022, driven by increased demand for personalization rather than price increases
Adrian Hallmark joined Bentley as CEO in 2017, having moved from Jaguar Land Rover
He said it was a testament to Bentley’s resilience, crisis planning, cost-cutting efficiency, restructuring and its “value over volume” strategy, which meant the company not only survived but thrived in the face of such “rollercoaster” challenges, including a shortage of important parts. caused by the war in Ukraine, economic uncertainty and rampant inflation, and Covid.
The most popular ‘extras’ chosen by Bentley customers
Bentley GT/ Flying Spur – Rotatable display
Additional costs: £4,965
At the touch of a button, the James Bond-style rotating display gives customers a choice of three dashboard surfaces: a 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen, classic analog dials or elegant veneers.
Bentley Bentayga EWB (extended wheelbase) – Aircraft seats
Additional costs: £8,390
Relax in business class seats with the world’s first automatic climate sensor and advanced posture adjustment systems. The system applies 177 individual pressure changes in six completely independent postural pressure zones.
Hand cross stitch
Additional costs: £2,570
This handmade needle and thread work consists of threading a single thread between the twinning stitches throughout the cabin. It takes someone nearly a week’s work, but provides an extra level of bespoke handiwork.
The strong performance means Bentley, part of the giant Volkswagen Group, can fund its own investment, including €3bn (£2.64bn) in transforming its Crewe plant over a decade to electrify and expand its lucrative, custom Mulliner arm.
From 2026, five new pure electric cars will be launched in five years as part of the Beyond100 strategy.
Bentley aims to electrify its entire product range and achieve carbon neutral status by 2030 by saying goodbye to the gas-hungry 12-cylinder petrol engine: “We are fully committed to going all-electric,” said Hallmark.
Order backs for 2023 show ‘strong potential’ to sustain performance, although sales will not reach new record highs for the next three years and the business environment, while less hectic than 2022, is still ‘more volatile and risk factors are increasing. Hallmark said.
Hallmark said he aims to make the company “bombproof” to survive future turbulence.
Action last year to keep production running at Crewe, which currently employs around 4,000 people, included: cutting or redeploying 1,000 staff and cutting costs by a quarter.
Bentley said: “This rapid financial transformation of the company supports a future investment program that is unparalleled in the luxury car industry, enabling Bentley to revolutionize the world from the world’s largest 12-cylinder engine manufacturer to a full-service car company within ten years. electric cars.’
Hallmark commented: ‘Since the low point of 2018, the entire team at Crewe has been working intensively on restructuring the business model. Last year was a milestone in this journey.
“Since 2018, a profit turnaround of almost €1bn (£880m) has been achieved despite an unprecedented period of disruptions and crises including Brexit, Covid, semiconductor supply, Ukraine and UK economic instability.”
Order backs for 2023 show ‘strong potential’ to sustain performance, although sales will not reach new record highs for the next three years and the business environment, while less hectic than 2022, is still ‘more volatile and risk factors are increasing. Hallmark said
Bestseller in 2022 was Bentley’s Bentayga SUV, accounting for 42% of total sales, with the Continental GT and Convertible (pictured) accounting for a third of orders
Government bureaucratic red tape hampered their move to electrification, he said: “We’re not complaining, we’re just going ahead.”
The top seller in 2022 was Bentley’s Bentayga SUV, accounting for 42 percent of total sales, with the Continental GT and Convertible in third place (with the performance-oriented GT Speed claiming nearly 31 percent of the model mix).
The flagship Flying Spur four-door grand-tourer achieved 28 percent of total sales, boosted by a hybrid version.
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