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MG Rover: no profit expected before 2006

Reported remarks by MG Rover chief executive Kevin Howe suggest the firm does not expect to turn a profit before 2006 – though it's not clear what role current plans have in setting the target.

This week The Guardian newspaper published two articles and a leader, echoing earlier reports in The Daily Telegraph in lambasting the four Phoenix Venture Holdings directors who have engineered a complex financial structure, claimed by the papers to be more to their own benefit than to MG Rover shareholders who include Longbridge workers and members of MG Rover's dealer network. The reports followed the news that MG Rover is discussing possible collaboration with Proton, which could lead to MG Rover replacing its 45 Series with a new car based on Proton's next Wira model. The move could make MG Rover's mid-range replacement relatively cheap, and the involvement of Proton subsidiary Lotus in its development could be a marketing plus, but the new vehicle would be unlikely to ensure a return to profitability as soon as 2006. Meanwhile, MG Rover has shown a V8 derivative of the 75 saloon at Geneva this week, alongside a 400 hp 'R' version of its £65,000-plus XPOWER SV sports coupe.

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