Aston Martin has achieved annual revenues of more than £1bn for the first time after it achieved a big jump in car sales. It sold 6,441 vehicles in 2018, 26% more than a year earlier, although average selling price was down slightly to £157,000. It is the car manufacturer’s first annual results since becoming a public company following its float in October.
The Warwick-headquartered group has had a bumpy entry to the markets, with its shares down nearly 30% since going public. However, chief executive Dr Andy Palmer said it had been “an outstanding year” for the company, “delivering strong growth, with improving revenues, unit sales and adjusted profits”. Adjusted EBITDA – a measure of operational profitability – was up 20% to £247m.
However, adjusting items of £136m relating to the IPO – including the £61m cost of settling long-term employee incentives – dragged the group’s operating performance down to a statutory pre-tax loss of £68m.
Palmer is optimistic about the company’s prospects for 2019, although the company’s board has approved up to £30m of advanced working capital and operating expenses if required to deal with the UK’s exit from Europe.
He said: “Given our progress on the Second Century plan – including completion of our new manufacturing plant at St Athan and our preparations for the DBX, we are confident that Aston Martin Lagonda will deliver another year of growth. “Whilst we are mindful of the uncertain and more challenging external environment, particularly in the UK and Europe, we remain disciplined in our execution and maintain our guidance for financial year 2019, whilst also reconfirming our medium-term objectives.’