Bentley celebrates record results on its ambitious road to full electrification as affluent customers spent more on higher value bespoke and custom luxury models with higher profit margins despite a ‘rollercoaster’ year “.
Operating profit of €708m (£622m) for 2022 marked an increase of €319m (£280m) from 2021, and was up nearly €1bn euros (£880m) compared to losses of 288m euros (£253m) before the 2018 pandemic.
The profit boost came as Bentley also celebrated record 2022 sales of 15,174 cars – the first time it has sold more than 15,000 cars in a year.
But it was customer spending on lucrative extras, more than incremental sales volume, that drove overall revenue to jump 19% year-on-year, with revenue hitting 3.38 billion euros (2 £.97 billion).
Record results: Bentley confirmed a huge increase in operating profits, with vehicle sales in 2022 exceeding 15,000 units per year for the first time in its history
Bentley said: “The latest annual figures show profit of €708m (£622m), representing 82% growth in profit compared to 4% growth in volume.”
Return on sales climbed to 20.9% in 2022, from 13.7% in 2021 and the highest in Bentley’s 104-year history.
This was driven by a “significant shift” in buying habits, as well-heeled customers chose higher spec derivatives, costlier custom options and extras, and invested more in exclusive limited editions and Coachbuilt ‘collectibles’ – such as the Bacalar – costing around £2million. each.
The average price of a car sold has risen from €165,000 (£145,000) in 2018 to €220,000 (£193,000) in 2022, due to increased demand for customization and not price increases, said Hallmark.
But the best “staked” year ever for sales and financial performance was also met with unprecedented turbulence and ten separate crises, four of which could have shuttered the prestigious British carmaker for up to six months, admitted the chairman and CEO of Bentley. Adrian Hallmark.
The average price of a car sold has risen from €165,000 (£145,000) in 2018 to €220,000 (£193,000) in 2022, due to increased demand for customization, not price increases.
Adrian Hallmark joined Bentley as managing director in 2017, after leaving Jaguar Land Rover
He said it was a testament to Bentley’s resilience, crisis planning, effective cost cutting, restructuring and its “value versus volume” strategy which meant the he company not only survived but thrived in the face of such “roller coaster” challenges that included shortages of key parts. caused by the war in Ukraine, economic uncertainty and runaway inflation, and Covid.
The most popular “extras” chosen by Bentley customers
Bentley GT/ Flying Spur – Rotating Display
Additional cost: £4,965
At the push of a button, the rotating James Bond-style display gives customers a choice of three instrument panel faces: a 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen, classic analog dials, or a sleek veneer .
Bentley Bentayga EWB (extended wheelbase) – Airplane seats
Additional cost: £8,390
Relax in business-class seats with the world’s first automatic temperature sensing and advanced postural adjustment systems. The system applies 177 individual pressure changes across six fully independent posture pressure zones.
Hand cross stitch
Additional cost: £2,570
This needle and thread craft involves threading a single thread between the twin stitches throughout the cabin. It takes someone nearly a week of work, but produces an extra level of bespoke craftsmanship.
The strong performance means Bentley, part of the giant Volkswagen Group, can self-finance its own investment, including 3bn euros (£2.64bn) transforming its Crewe plant over a decade for electrification and expanding its lucrative bespoke Mulliner arm.
Five new all-electric car launches over five years start from 2026 as part of its Beyond100 strategy.
Bentley aims to electrify its entire product range and achieve carbon neutral status by 2030 by saying goodbye to the gas-guzzling 12-cylinder petrol engine: “We are fully committed to going all-electric,” said Bentley. said Hallmark.
The order banks for 2023 show “strong potential” to support performance, even if sales over the next three years will not reach new records and the business environment, although less frantic than in 2022, continues to become “more volatile and risk factors increase,” Hallmark said.
Hallmark said it aims to make the company “bombproof” to survive future turbulence.
Action over the past year to maintain production 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 business underpins an unparalleled future investment program in the luxury car sector, enabling Bentley to grow from the world’s largest producer of 12-cylinder engines to a car company. fully electric in a decade”.
Hallmark noted, “Since the low point of 2018, the entire Crewe team has worked intensely to restructure the business model. Last year marked an important step in this journey.
“A profit turnaround of almost €1bn (£880m) has been achieved since 2018 despite an unprecedented period of disruption and crises including Brexit, Covid, semiconductor supply , Ukraine and the economic instability of the United Kingdom.”
The order banks for 2023 show “strong potential” to support performance, even if sales over the next three years will not reach new records and the business environment, although less frantic than in 2022, continues to become ‘more volatile and risk factors increase,’ Punch said.
The best seller in 2022 was Bentley’s Bentayga SUV, which took 42% of total sales, with the Continental GT and convertible (pictured) accounting for a third of orders
Government red tape was hampering their move to electrification, he said: “We’re not complaining, we’re just carrying on.”
The top seller in 2022 was Bentley’s Bentayga SUV with 42% of total sales, with the Continental GT and convertible accounting for third (including the performance-oriented GT Speed claiming almost 31% of the model range).
The flagship four-door Flying Spur grand tourer earned 28% of total sales, boosted by a hybrid version.
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