2022 may have been a tough year for some automakers, but not Bentley. The iconic British brand just had its best-ever financial performance, posting an operating profit of €708 million. In current markets, that converts to £621 million, representing an 82 percent increase over 2021. For the record, Bentley logged a €389 million payday last year.
When you go back further, the results are even more impressive. In 2018, Bentley was deep in the red with an operating loss of €288 million. 2019 was a step in the right direction, achieving a €65 million profit. The numbers fell in 2020 – as they did pretty much everywhere once the COVID pandemic hit – but everything changed with Bentley's €389 million performance in 2021.
What caused this change? In a press release on its 2022 financials, Bentley CEO Adrian Hallmark cites better efficiency within the company.
"Since the low point of 2018, the whole team at Crewe has been working intensively to restructure the business model, in parallel with launching successive segment-leading new models and features," he said. "Last year marked a milestone in this journey. An almost €1 billion profit turnaround has been achieved since 2018 despite an unprecedented period of disruptions and crises including Brexit, Covid, Semiconductor supply, Ukraine, and UK economic instability."
Gallery: Bentley Bentayga Odyssean Edition
Beyond that, customer buying habits are also credited for the financial boom. In short, shoppers are splurging more on options and bespoke builds. On that front, Bentley says limited edition and coach built collectibles increased return on sales by 20.9 percent.
Of course, having a record sales year with 15,174 total units sold helps, too. Leading the pack once again was the Bentayga SUV, capturing 42 percent of all Bentley sales in 2022. The Continental GT and its convertible variant captured almost a third of sales, with the Flying Spur getting 28 percent thanks in part to the hybrid model.
"We will maintain focus on customer value rather than sales volume and adapt our plan according to the emerging market situation," said Hallmark. "However, our well-balanced export success, disciplined cost management structure, and ability to maximise personalisation in an industrialised way, driving profitability, are good foundations to continue this success."