Aston Martin says new models will drive profit after sales fell

Aston Martin Lagonda’s first-quarter sales have been slow, but the group says that four new models or refreshed versions released this year will allow it to achieve revenue and profit goals over the next two decades.

London’s sole listed carmaker reported that dealer deliveries fell by 26 percent to 945 units in the first quarter of this year. Revenues were down 10 percent to £267 millions.

The adjusted operating profit fell by one-third to £19.9million. The company’s net loss, after paying off its £1 billion in debt, nearly doubled at £138 million.

Aston Martin Lagonda shares, which have a market value of around £1.2 billion (about £1.2 billion), fell by 10p or more than 6 percent to 138 1/4p, a 15-month record low. The stock was almost £4 per share last year.

Henning Cosman is an analyst at Barclays. He said that the company needed “a fairly radical” performance recovery in the second half to achieve its goals.

Lawrence Stroll has been promising that by 2024-25, Aston Martin will have a profit of £500 million on sales of £2 billion.

The company insists that, despite the long road ahead, it will “substantially achieve” this target by 2024. Analysts only expect operating profits to be around £400 million this calendar year.

Stroll explained that the company was nearing the completion of its transformation and was ready to increase output.

In response to criticisms from customers, the company reduced the volume of its bestselling DBX 4-wheel drive by 63 percent in the first quarter. The project is nearing completion.

Aston Martin will see increased sales for its DB12 model, which is the latest version of its historical model — the DB5 that Sean Connery drove as James Bond in 1960 — with a Volante soft top edition. Also expected to increase are the new Vantage sports cars and the long-delayed Valkyrie supercar.

Aston Martin will launch a V12 sports car with 815 horsepower this summer. It is the most powerful Aston Martin ever and could be its final petrol-only sports car before begins its shift to hybrids that emit less pollution.

Aston Martin’s average selling price is a key financial indicator for its fans. Stroll calculated that to reach the £2 billion target, it would take 10,000 vehicles sold per year. The company believes that it can reach the £2 billion revenue target with sales of 7,500 cars per year. This would require an average car sales price of around £265,000.

The limited edition Valkyrie sales boosted the average price to £253,000 in the first quarter.

Stroll stated: “Our performance in the first quarter reflects the expected period of transition as we ceased the production and delivery our outgoing core model models before the ramp up of production for the new Vantage and upgraded DBX707, and our upcoming V12 sports car.”

The executive chairman has delayed the launch of the first Aston fully electric until 2027 due to a lack of demand.

Stroll stated that “the feedback from our dealers indicates that the customer is looking for the traditional Aston sound and smell.”