Aston Martin sees ‘first steps’ to profits as annual losses widen

Luxury carmaker Aston Martin Lagonda said it would take the “first steps towards profitability” this year after reporting wider annual losses as sales slumped due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The company posted a £466m pre-tax loss compared with £120m last year as sales to dealers fell by 42% to 3,394 vehicles on the back of factory and showroom closures. Revenues slumped by 38% year-on-year to £611m for 2020.

However, the company did report a better final quarter of 2020 thanks to sales of its DBX sports utility, with revenues 3% higher than the same period in 2019, before the pandemic.

Aston maintained guidance of around 6,000 sales to dealers as a new management team led by billionaire Lawrence Stroll aims to turn the company around.

“I am extremely pleased with the progress to date despite operating in these most challenging of times,” Stroll said in a statement.

Aston Martin, the model chosen by movie spy character James Bond, said the aggressive reduction of dealer GT/Sports inventory was expected to be largely complete in the first quarter “with the building order book ahead of our original expectations”.

It added that orders for its DBX model, the company’s first foray into the sports utility vehicle market, were in-line with expectations and a first variant was planned for launch in the third quarter.

“The uncertainty surrounding the duration and impact of the pandemic on the global economy continues, with the pace of emergence from lockdown and recovery in consumer demand varying significantly across geographies,” the company said

“While Q1 was planned to be the smallest quarter of the year, trading to date has been in-line with our expectations and our outlook for the full year is unchanged.”

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