Click image for a hi-res gallery of our Autoblog Garage Continental GTC

2007 was good to the folks in Crewe, as Bentley Motors had its best year ever. (What, no VH1 special?) For the first time, the automaker surpassed the 10,000 mark in terms of vehicles sold -- a tenfold increase over where it stood just five years ago. Both Arnage and Continental family sales were up -- 45-percent for the former, thanks to the arrival of the new Azure, and 5-percent for the latter with the GTC leading the way. The record-high sales led to new high points for both net revenue (€1.37 billion) and operating profit (€155 million). This level of volume is pretty much where the automaker would like to settle going forward, as it lets Bentley stay exclusive while still returning a profit. Us? We're just trying to figure out a way to tap into the joys of ownership ourselves. Follow the jump for Bentley's full press release and some assorted eye candy.

[Source: Bentley Motors]


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PRESS RELEASE
BENTLEY FOLLOWS SALES SUCCESS WITH RECORD PROFITABILITY

Volume, turnover and operating profit all achieve new highs

Bentley Motors has announced its financial results for the year ending 31 December 2007, reporting record revenue and operating profit. For the calendar year, Bentley increased its net revenue by €36m or 2.7% compared with 2006, to set a new record of €1.37bn. Operating profit increased by €18m or 13.1% to a new operating profit record of €155m.

These results reflect Bentley's record sales performance last year when the company surpassed the 10,000 unit mark for the first time. Global sales increased by 7% in 2007 to reach 10,014 units. Increases were seen in almost all major markets: +7% in the UK, +4% in North America, +7% in Europe, +18% in the Asia Pacific region, and +93% in China alone.

These excellent results were driven by growth across both the Arnage and Continental ranges. Thanks to the introduction of the Azure convertible, sales grew by 45% in the Arnage line, whilst the Continental family sales increased by around 5%, with the GTC convertible proving the most popular model.

Commenting on these financial results, Bentley Chairman and CEO, Dr Franz-Josef Paefgen, said: "2007 was a milestone in the history of Bentley as we passed the 10,000 units for the first time. Five years ago we were selling only 1000 units but the development of a strong product line has seen the Company attract new customers in greater numbers. 2007 saw strong growth both in mature markets, such as Germany, the UK and the US, as well as in emerging markets, such as China and Russia."

Looking ahead to 2008, Dr Paefgen said: "We expect to maintain this momentum despite the financial instability that has been affecting the world economy. We hope to take advantage of a complete line-up, with the full Continental range, and the full Arnage range, including the recently launched Brooklands, which has already been very well received. Our plan has always been to achieve a sales volume around the current levels as it gives us excellent profitability whilst maintaining brand exclusivity".