P.M. BRIEFING : Jaguar Avoids Strike; Profits Fall

<i> From Times wire services</i>

British luxury car maker Jaguar averted a potentially damaging pay strike today, but also announced that pretax profits fell 50% last year.

The company’s 9,000 manual workers voted by a large majority to accept a 10% wage increase which gives them an extra 16 pounds ($27.50) a week spread over two years.

Jaguar said in its annual statement that profits tumbled to 47.5 million pounds ($81.7 million) from 97 million pounds ($166.8 million) in 1987. The fall in profits was expected because of a weaker dollar and lower sales in the U.S. market, which has been crucial to the company, but where it is trying to cut its dependence.