SPAIN: Seat promises come-back after first loss in years
Volkswagen Spanish car making unit Seat has reported a net loss of EUR62.5 million (US$74.3 million) for 2005 and said it was now on an efficiency drive to return to profit.
Revenues fell to EUR5.27 billion from 5.86 billion a year earlier, according to Reuters.
The company's main plant at Martorell near Barcelona produced 385,000 units during the year compared with 416,000 units in 2004.
The news agency noted the results followed Volkswagen's reassurance to Spanish officials last month that it would not sell the automaker and remains committed to its Spanish operations.
Seat chairman Andreas Schleef told Reuters he was confident the company was over the worst: "We are now climbing up out of the valley."
With a job-cut deal agreed, a new head of sales - former Fiat executive Guiseppe Tartaglione - and new models on sale, the company's prospects were improving, he reportedly said.
Reuters noted that the 2005 loss was Seat's first since 1995 and was caused by weak European sales and the costs of 660 recent job cuts.
Finance chief Jan-Henrik Lafrentz told a news conference the company could gain EUR500 million through a combination of higher revenues and cost savings to bring it back to break-even by 2008.
"It's our last chance, but I believe we are capable of achieving it," Schleef reportedly said of the efficiency plan.