The past few years for Gaydon, UK-based Aston Martin could be described as trying times financially as the sports car maker has struggled to remain buoyant. In 2014, Aston Martin suffered a pre-tax loss of US$96.6mn, almost triple that of 2013 selling 3,500 cars during the year, well below 7,300 sold in 2007 and 4,200 sold in 2013. Then in March 2014, Aston Martin issued “payment in kind” notes of US$165mn, at 10.25per cent interest, in addition to the US$404mn of senior secured notes at 9.25per cent issued in 2011. Aston Martin also had to secure an additional investment of £200 million from its shareholders to fund US$269mn development of new models. It is reported that Aston Martin’s pre-tax losses for 2016 increased by 27per cent to US$224mn, the sixth year it continued to suffer a loss.
But, it seems now that this picture is about to change under the stewardship of CEO Andy Palmer and the car maker is on course to post its first annual pre-tax profit since 2010. This has been predicted on the basis of the strong demand for DB11. Pre-tax profit reached US$29mn in the first nine months of 2017, reversing a loss of US$165mn in the same period in 2016.
“Our strong financial performance and continued profitability reflect the growing appeal of our high-performance sports cars, with the new DB11 Volante and a new Vantage expected to stimulate further demand in the coming year,” Palmer said.
Aston Martin is owned by Kuwaiti and Italian private equity firms, last posted a profit in 2010. Under Palmer’s predecessor Ulrich Bez’s leadership, its losses grew, partly due to lack of investment in new models, a high-profile recall followed by an extended period without a chief executive.
Since Palmer came on board in 2014 from Nissan, Aston Martin has pursued an ambitious turnaround business plan which includes boosting the model line up, quadruple sales volumes and producing its first SUV.
As sales volumes rose 65per cent to 3,330 cars in the first nine months of the year, the encouraging results have prompted Aston Martin to raise its full-year advice to expect core earnings of at least US$239mn on revenue of over US$1,116mn.