Aston Martin has confirmed it is continuing talks with potential investors after issuing another profit warning due to “challenging trading conditions”.
Revealing the firm sold 5819 cars in 2019, 7% down on 2018, chief executive Andy Palmer said Aston had suffered a “very disappointing year”.
“The challenging trading conditions highlighted in November continued through the peak delivery period of December resulting in lower sales, higher selling costs and lower margins,” said Palmer.
As a result Palmer said that Aston’s earnings margin for 2019 will be 12.5-13.5 per cent. Last summer it issued a warning that the margin would be 20%, triggering a substantial fall in its stock price. Palmer added that adjusted earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortisation will be £130-140m, around £60m below expectations.
Palmer also revealed Aston spent more on marketing and underwriting finance than previously.
“Whilst we are disappointed with trading performance in 2019, our focus is now on revitalising the business, launching DBX and ensuring profitable growth in the medium-term,” added Palmer.
Late last year Aston Martin confirmed that it was in talks with potential investors, formally confirming a story broken by Autocar and RaceFans.net, which first revealed interest in the firm from billionaire Lawrence Stroll. Other potential investors are reported to include rival car makers and firms based in the Middle East, India and China.
Stroll, father of Formula 1 driver Lance and owner of the Racing Point F1 team, is estimated to be worth in excess of £2 billion, having made his money investing and building up brands including Pierre Cardin, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Asprey and Garrard.