Building world-class supercars like the MP4-12C isn’t as lucrative as it may appear: according to Automotive News Europe (subscription required), McLaren Automotive will post a loss for its 2012 fiscal year, which ends on March 31.

McLaren Automotive managing director Mike Flewitt estimated the loss to be between 10 million and 12 million pounds ($15 million to $18 million), which represents the brand’s heavy investment into new products (like the MP4-12C Spider and the upcoming P1 hybrid supercar) and new dealerships worldwide.

In fact, Flewitt shrugged off the loss as “not too bad,” before stating that McLaren Automotive is slightly ahead of its current business plan. In the 2011 fiscal year, the firm lost 69 million pounds ($105 million), so clearly progress is being made as its range of products grows.

Flewitt expects McLaren Automotive to be profitable in 2013 and following years, thanks to rising demand for its products. McLaren has just begun deliveries of its MP4-12C Spider to customers in North America, and its LaFerrari-challenging P1 supercar is supposed to ship by the end of 2013.

This year also marks the 50th anniversary of McLaren, something the company will be celebrating at various events throughout the year. We can’t think of a better way for McLaren to commemorate five decades of motorsport glory than by turning a profit with its automotive business.