2016 Lotus Elise Race 250Enlarge Photo
Lotus has pulled a money-laden rabbit from its top hat. With the results of its 2016/2017 fiscal year, Lotus Group International Limited's operations are heading toward profitability. At the close of the fiscal year, Lotus posted a positive earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) of $2.6 million. In the 2015/2016 fiscal year, Lotus posted a loss of $21.6 million with EBITDA factored in.
Things moved in a positive direction with the sports car maker's profit before tax figure as well. Lotus reported a $14.54 million loss, up from a whopping $53.49 million loss in 2015/2016. With this news, Lotus said it's poised for success as it enters the 2017/2018 fiscal year and expects to return a full profit next year.
Despite its losses, Lotus has been focused on updating and revising its product portfolio of Evora, Exige, and Elise models. Additionally, it opened dozens of new dealerships around the world. In 2014, the brand had 138 dealers. Today it has 215.
"Our vastly improved profitability, together with an increase in revenue means that for the first time in many years Lotus is now a self-sufficient and sustainable business," Jean-Marc Gales, CEO, Group Lotus, said.
The figures also come soon after Chinese automaker Geely agreed to purchase a 49.9-percent stake in Lotus' parent company, Proton, this past May. As part of that deal, Geely took 51 percent ownership of Lotus. Geely also owns Volvo, which has seen a tremendous turnaround following its Ford ownership.
With the deal, the possibility of future Volvo suspensions tuned by Lotus is on the table as well. "I don't see any problem using their knowledge. I think it is pretty applicable all over the board. You need to have a dialogue—you can exchange knowledge back and forth," a Volvo engineer said in the past.
Lotus reiterated its positive feeling over the Geely majority stake and believes it will continue to flourish under its new owners with "sensational" new vehicles coming in the near future.