Seat’s 2013 operating loss rose to €217 million image

Seat has posted an operating loss of €217 million for 2013, up from €134 million in 2012, despite a record turnover of €6.47 billion last year.

The VW-owned automaker blamed strong competition in western Europe, with “challenging economic difficulties in the region” being the main cause for the diminished revenue per unit.

Seat said the operating result was also affected by higher personnel and restructuring costs, as  well as an increase in amortizations due to the launch of new models. After taxes, Seat’s loss was €149 million, compared to €30 million in 2012.

“2013 was a difficult and demanding year, but Seat proved its potential by joining the ranks of the fastest growing brands in Europe and set sales and production records for the past years,” company president Jürgen Stackmann said in a statement.

The carmaker said it had made enormous investment efforts over the past five years, over €2.6 billion for investments and R&D expenses. However, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) improved by 73 percent to €221 million. Also, for the first time since 2007, investments were fully covered by operating cash flow.

Seat managed to reduce its dependence on the Spanish market in 2013 and expanded internationally, exporting 83 percent of its output – compared to 75 percent in 2009. Sales of the Leon compact car rose 44.4 percent last year to 102,000 units of Seat’s total 355,000 sales.