ROLLS-ROYCE achieved record sales last year despite the issues caused by Covid-19.

The firm, based in Goodwood, delivered 5,586 cars last year - up 49 per cent on 2020.

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars chief executive Torsten Muller-Otvos said it is “very much due to Covid that the entire luxury business is booming worldwide”.

He said the outbreak of Covid-19 led to a decrease in travel and spend on “luxury services.

“For that reason, there is quite a lot of money accumulated worldwide, which was spent on luxury goods. We also profited from that,” he told a virtual press conference.

“Many people also witnessed in their community people dying from Covid and that made them think that life can be short and you’d better live now than postpone it to a later date.

“That also has helped quite massively to encourage people to invest into what I would call the nice, lovely things in the world.”

The BMW-owned firm said there was strong demand for all its models in 2021, particularly the Ghost and Cullinan.

Bespoke commissions were also at record levels.

Rolls-Royce is continuing to develop its first pure electric car, Spectre, which is due to be released in the final three months of 2023.

Mr Muller-Otvos described 2021 as “a phenomenal year” for Rolls-Royce.

“We delivered more cars than at any time in the marque’s 117-year history with unprecedented demand for all products in every global market,” he added.