Aston Martin upgrades forecasts as demand for luxury sports cars moves into fast lane

Aston Martin’s DB11 has helped lift the average selling price of the company’s cars
]Aston Martin’s turnaround is accelerating after the luxury sports car manufacturer notched up record sales in the first nine months of the year.

The company sold 3,330 cars during nine months to the end of September, a rise of 65pc on the same period the year before, as the 104-year-old business’s “Second Century” strategy took hold.

Aston suffered years of losses before chief executive Andy Palmer was drafted in three years ago from Nissan to get the company back on track.

He formulated a survival plan for the company which had flirted with bankruptcy several times. It included launching seven new cars over seven years, with headline-grabbing vehicles such as the Valkyrie hypercar.

This week the company unveiled its latest car, a new version of its best-selling Vantage, which is seen as the entry-level vehicle.

Andy Palmer, chief executive of Aston Martin, poses next to the company’s new V8 Vantage  CREDIT:REUTERS

The company – which is owned by Kuwaiti and Italian private equity funds – also cleaned up it balance sheet, writing down old assets and equipment.

The impact of the changes can be seen with Aston outperforming expectations for the past 11 quarters, success which allowed the company to raise a £530m bond to refinance existing debt and fund investment in new models and facilities.

Average selling prices of Aston’s cars have now risen to £150,000, reflecting the decision to offer more personalisation of vehicles, following a trend in upmarket automotive businesses which allows their products to stand out in an increasingly crowded market. The mix of vehicle sales with buyers opting for more expensive models has also contributed to the higher average price.

Aston Martin Valkyrie’s hypercar is part of its ‘Second Century’ turnaround plan

Mr Palmer said: “Our strong financial performance and continued profitability reflects the growing appeal of our cars, with the new DB11 Volante and Vantage expected to stimulate further demand.”

Revenue in the first three quarters of the year was £567m, 84pc up on the last time around, and pre-tax earnings were almost four times higher at £121m. Pre-tax profit was £22m, reversing the £124m loss at the same point a year ago. Third quarter sales were 62pc better at £156m.

Mark Wilson, chief financial officer, said the strong performance meant that guidance for the full year had been revised upwards. Aston now expects to deliver annual revenues of at least £840m, a £10m upgrade, and pre-tax earnings of £180m-plus, some £5m better.


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