Aston Martin roars back into profit as turnaround plan steps up a gear


The turnaround of Aston Martin, a luxury sports car maker, is gaining speed, with sales accelerating, as the business is firmly back in profit at the interim stage.

Andy Palmer, Chief executive, was appointed from Nissan three years ago with a goal to lead Aston Martin, a business founded in 1913, back to profit after years of being in the red.

Palmer’s “Second Century” plan to get the company back on a sustainable standing while increasing output, expediting new model launches and shifting into new sectors now appears to be delivering, with a half-year revenue near twice of last year’s level at £410.4m.

Aston had wholesale sales in the six months to the end of June of 2,439 cars, a rise of 67pc. The increase was driven by the demand for the DB11 grand tourer launched last year.

“We are sold out beyond the end of the year, and that’s helping prices,” declared Mr Palmer, noting that dealers were no longer giving discounts as a consequence.

As opposed to a loss of £82.3m last time, bigger volumes helped achieve pre-tax profits of £21.1m. The average sale price is now 25pc higher at £149,000, with a combination of customers picking personalised “Q” options and the popularity of the DB11 across the range of those responsible for the rise.

The company also availed a £550m refinancing to give it the cash to invest in new products and R&D during the half. It also reduced the strain on its balance sheet in a deal that near-halved borrowing costs.

“In short, we’ve now got the money we need and are able to invest significantly in the business,” said the chief executive, referring to £96m of reinvestment, which has benefited the company deliver its plans of unveiling a brand new model every year.

“We’re now a $1bn a year company which is a nice club to be in, and it feels like we’re a normal company with strong financial foundations,” appended Mark Wilson, chief financial officer. He also regarded that staffing has grown by a third since 2015 to currently 3,000 employees, with proposals to add another 1,000 over the next few years.