Overall, it was a promising first quarter of the year for the luxury brand.
On Thursday, Bentley announced its first-quarter financial results for 2022. In short, they're pretty impressive. Bentley called the figures "encouraging." In fact, its operating profits are up 162%, totaling around $172.9 million. Bentley has said these figures mirror the company's second-highest profit figure ever.
This also follows a record-breaking year in 2021, during which Bentley reported €389 million (about $409 million) in annual profit. But our question is, how did Bentley manage to post those Q1 2022 profit figures while also selling fewer cars? It sounds strange, but Bentley hasa very simple explanation.
In short, Bentley might have sold fewer cars this year in Q1 compared to Q1 2021, down 5%, but the cars it did sell were much nicer than last year's. Bentley says its per-car revenue went from approximately $194,000 per car to $224,000 per car. Combine those figures with the 3,203 cars the brand has sold in this quarter, and you start to get an idea of where those impressive operating profits come from. We guess the "B" in Bentley doesn't stand for "base model."
Bentley says interest in high-spec models like the Continental GT, including Mulliner and Speed derivatives, rose, especially in Europe. There, sales were up 38%. Like many others, Bentley attributes any downturn in vehicle production as compared to last year to supply chain shortages. It's not an unfair claim to make. Anyone that makes anything with wheels has made the same claims, and rightly so.
"These results demonstrate the intrinsic strength of our brand and confirm the ongoing success of our industry-leading Beyond100 strategy. They also suggest even more promise for the transformational years ahead," said Jan-Henrik Lafrentz, Member of the Board for Finance and IT. The Beyond 100 strategy is Bentley's push to make greener, more sustainable luxury cars. The Bentayga Hybrid is the car that really started the push and anticipation for the first electric Bentley is high, so we'll trust Bentley on this one.
The real challenge will be making that strategy stick. The brand has shown massive returns financially over the last several years, and its sustainability push will tell whether Bentley will continue to be relevant in an age where sustainably-sourced fabrics are more a sign of status than cowhides.