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BL looks ahead despite £155m first-half loss

13 September 1980

By Peter Hull

Losses of £155m for the first half of this financial year were unveiled yesterday by Sir Michael Edwardes, chairman of BL. The pre-tax loss was £33m more than the loss for the whole of last year, and followed a pre-tax profit in the first half of last year of £20.1m.

Despite the gloomy outlook , Sir Michael spoke of the "very tight position in the next 18 months", he revealed that the company is now seeking government approval for the first phase of launching of the company's new middle range car, the LC10, which is to replace the existing Allegro and Morris Ital models, and which is regarded as being the key to the group's success.

The LC10 model will complement the model range, which is to receive a much needed, boost with - the launching next month of the Metro. In the face of the deteriorating market BL has speeded up the two year programme of 13 factory closures and labour cut backs, but Sir Michael declared: "We are doing the right things and we have stuck to our strategy."

Sir Michael also said "I would like the government to stop the vehicles coming into Britain from Spain completely, in the absence of an agreement by the Spanish government to lift tariff restrictions."

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The Austin Mini-Metro is launched today

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