Luxury car maker Aston Martin falls to first-quarter loss

Luxury car manufacturer Aston Martin Lagonda swung to a loss in the first quarter after it sold fewer higher priced “special” cars.

The maker of cars favoured by spy James Bond reported a £17.3 million pre-tax loss for the three months to March 2019, down from a £2.8 million profit a year earlier.

Costs relating to its initial public offering (IPO) on the London Stock Exchange last year continued to weigh down on the company’s bottom line.

In 2018 overall, the group posted a £68 million pre-tax loss after it was dragged down by £136 million in IPO costs.

Its entrance to the stock market in October has failed to live up to expectations, with the car maker sitting at less than half its opening share price.

Total revenue for the period jumped 6% to £196 million, driven by strong growth in North America and Asia.

The number of wholesale units sold in the UK, its largest market, slid by 9%, while sales elsewhere in Europe also fell, declining 4%.

The car maker’s gross profit margin shrank slightly to 42%, from 44% in 2018, as the number of special car sales declined and its average selling price of core models also fell.

Aston Martin held firm on expectations for the full-year and said it expected normal second-half seasonability to be amplified by sales of specials.

Andy Palmer, president and chief executive officer, said: “Despite declining total industry volumes, Aston Martin Lagonda has delivered a sales increase that reaffirms its position as a luxury marque that offers some resilience to these wider automotive trends.

“We remain conscious of the challenging external environment in certain of our markets and we have taken this into account in our planning whilst ensuring we do not compromise on delivery.”

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