Aston Martin said today its EBITDA for 2021 would be some £15m less than expected because of shipping fewer Valkyries than planned.
The announcement in a trading update for the 2021 financial year, issued this morning (Jan 7) via the London Stock Exchange, has thrown into doubt the future of chief executive Tobias Moers at the company, according to Autocar.
Moers, pictured, became CEO in August 2020, replacing Andy Palmer, but Autocar says a number of sources have told it that a possible replacement for Moers had been approached already.
Aston Martin declined to comment on the speculation, but in the update it said 10 of the £2.4m Valkyrie and Valkyrie AMR Pro vehicles were shipped in the last quarter of 2021, which were ‘fewer than previously planned’.
As a result, the ‘adjusted EBITDA is anticipated to be c.£15m lower than expected’.
It emphasised that the impact was purely timing, with all Valkyrie coupes sold and remaining allocated to customers who had paid ‘significant deposits’.
The resulting lower EBITDA was also expected to have ‘a broadly net neutral impact on adjusted operating profit’, said the manufacturer, which added that wholesale results grew by 82 per cent to 6,182 vehicles as planned.
A total of 3,001 DBX units were shifted via wholesale in their first full year of production, claiming an estimated fifth of the luxury SUV segment.
Aston Martin, which was bought in January 2020 by a consortium headed by Lawrence Stroll, said it had a year-end cash balance of some £420m, which was higher than previously anticipated.
In the update, Moers said: ‘The Valkyrie programme 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.
‘With a full year of Aston Martin Valkyrie programme deliveries in 2022, we are expecting to deliver significant growth, in addition to the launch of our second DBX derivative, intended to disrupt the performance luxury SUV market, and the final edition of the V12 Vantage.’
Meanwhile, Stroll, who is the executive chairman, commented: ‘I am extremely pleased that our core business has delivered to plan with over 6,000 core wholesales in the year whilst driving inventory to levels that are appropriate for an ultra-luxury business.
‘We inherited a challenging programme with Valkyrie but we are now producing these fabulous hypercars. Our progress to date underpins my confidence in the future, our continued success and the potential for the business.
‘With a full year of DBX deliveries completed and our compelling product pipeline, including a new generation of front-engine sports cars in 2023, I am more assured than ever of achieving our medium-term objectives of revenues of c.£2bn and adjusted EBITDA of c.£500m by 2024/25.’
Aston Martin’s preliminary results for the year to December 31, 2021 will be announced on February 24.