Aston Martin sales surge, but Valkyrie delays hit profit

Europe

Aston Martin said sales to dealers in 2021 surged 82 percent, even as the British automaker forecast lower-than-expected annual adjusted core earnings due to delays in shipments of its limited-edition 2.4 million-pound ($3.3 million) Valkyrie sports car.

Aston Martin said 10 Valkyries were shipped in the fourth quarter, fewer than previously planned. The delays have been blamed on on electronics issues.

The company said on Friday that it expected annual adjusted core earnings to be about 15 million pounds ($20 million) lower than expected.

It said the Valkyries that had not yet been shipped were already allocated to customers, with significant deposits.

“The Valkyrie program is now running at rate for 2022 having focused on delivering with no compromises in the face of supply chain challenges and huge complexity in the production ramp-up which resulted in a timing impact for 2021,” CEO Tobias Moers said.

Overall, the company sold 6,182 cars last year, helped by demand for its first SUV, the DBX.

Pandemic travel restrictions have left many wealthy consumers with more disposable income, fueling demand for premium and luxury cars.

On Thursday, another British luxury automaker, Bentley, reported a record year as global sales jumped 31 percent.

Since going public in 2018, Aston Martin shares have slumped around 30 percent and the company has burnt through cash, prompting billionaire chairman Lawrence Stroll to buy a stake in the company as part of plans to raise money.

The company said its cash balance at the end of 2021 was around 420 million pounds, higher than anticipated.

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