Saab owner Spyker first-half losses soar

Spyker Cars, the Dutch specialist automaker of Sweden's Saab, said on Friday that its first-half losses soared as a result, but it insisted that it was still on course for a 2012 profit.

Spyker suffered a net loss of €139 million ($175 million) in the six months to June as it took on the Saab business. The company reported a 2009 net loss of €22.9 million.

“I cannot reiterate enough that this does not mean anything from a financial point of view in terms of the operations of the company,” CEO Victor Muller told a conference call.

The loss was within forecasts, Muller said, adding, “It is not surprising that a company that had just come out of liquidation and only produces 10,500 cars in half a year incurs a sizeable loss.”

He continued, “We will not be profitable in the second half of the year either. We have been very consistent in our reporting that we anticipate profitability by 2012.”

Spyker, which acquired Saab from US auto giant General Motors earlier this year, said the results reflected the burden of debt and other costs it had taken on with the acquisition. Even though its equity capital was now negative, to the tune of €126 million, there were no plans to raise fresh funds, officials said.

Sales for the six months came to €243 million. It said Saab sold 10,500 cars in the first half, down from 24,300 in the same period in 2009, but hopes to sell 45,000 for all 2010, rising to 80,000 next year, returning to profit in 2012 when it aims to sell 120,000.

Spyker was a very small specialist luxury sports car maker before it bought Saab and had never been profitable since it was set up in 2000. In February, Spyker Cars paid $400 million for loss-making Saab, which General Motors was about to close.

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