Aston Martin Beats Car-Sales Goal, Bullish on Growth This Year
JC News|Feb. 28, 2019
(Bloomberg) -- Aston Martin beat its 2018 car-sales target and predicted further growth this year as the luxury automaker seeks to rebound from a shaky initial public offering in October.
The Gaydon, England-based company sold 6,441 vehicles last year, a gain of 26 percent and above the top end of the forecast range, according to a statement Thursday. It reiterated a target of 7,100 to 7,300 car sales for 2019.
Aston Martin’s DBX SUV, seen as crucial for future growth, is on track to begin full production in the second half, with a new plant at St Athan, Wales, complete.
The expansion comes as global auto markets slow, with carmakers like Daimler AG issuing cautious forecasts. Aston Martin appears more positive after a 31 percent jump in China sales, where rivals have seen demand stutter, and even higher growth in the U.S.
The company plans to cope with a no-deal Brexit by importing parts via a variety of ports and even by air to combat customs delays. It will tap 30 million pounds ($40 million) of extra working capital if needed, though has committed only 2 million pounds.
Aston Martin has argued that it should be seen as on a par with Ferrari NV, an aspiration that’s brought immediate pressure as the Italian company has a stronger balance sheet and higher earnings multiples. The U.K. company plans to deliver 14,000 cars a year in the medium term, more than doubling current production.
Aston Martin shares closed at 1,374.40 pence on Wednesday, 27 percent below the IPO price of 19 pounds a share. That gives the company a market value of 3.13 million pounds, less than one-fifth that of Ferrari, which listed in 2015.
Full year revenue advanced 25 percent to 1.1 billion pounds, while adjusted earnings before interest and tax rose 18 percent to 146.9 million pounds. Both numbers were in line with analyst estimates.
Adjusted Ebitda is expected to be lower in the first half in the absence of gains on disposals a year ago.
Click here to view Aston Martin’s earnings release.
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