ASTON Martin tumbled to a £92.3 million pre-tax loss for the past three quarters as sales volumes slid on ‘tough trading conditions’ in the UK and continental Europe, it announced today.
The luxury car manufacturer swung to the loss for the nine months to September from a £23.9 million pre-tax profit in the same period last year as its recent sales downturn continued.
Revenues and wholesale volumes for the Aston Martin Lagonda group both saw double-digit declines in the third quarter.
Meanwhile, total revenues fell seven per cent to £657.2m for the year to date, after sales in the third quarter dived 11 per cent to £250.1m.
This was particularly driven by the decline in wholesale volumes, which plunged 16 per cent for the three months to September.
The company blamed falling sales in the UK and Europe as well as weak demand for its entry-level Vantage sports car.
Sales in the UK slid 22 per cent during the past three months and European sales dropped 17 per cent, as sales in the US grew two per cent.
Nevertheless, the company held firm on its financial expectation despite lower volumes and ‘continued economic uncertainty’.
It comes after Aston Martin warned on profits in July, saying it saw it had too many unsold cars in dealerships.
Andy Palmer, Aston Martin president and group chief executive, said: ‘Tough trading conditions, particularly in the UK and Europe, persist and whilst retail sales have grown 13 per cent year to date, wholesale volumes remain under pressure.
‘We remain pleased with the performance of DB11 and DBS Superleggera. However, the segment of the market in which Vantage competes is declining, and notwithstanding a growing market share, Vantage demand remains weaker than our original plans.
‘As a consequence, total wholesale volumes are down year on year as we balance growth, brand positioning and dealer inventories. Additionally, we are taking actions to control our costs through an efficiency programme.’
Despite the loss, shares in the company rebounded after a recent downturn, rising 7.1 per cent to 447.1p in early trading.
Meanwhile, an Aston Martin first owned by Sir Elton John is being sold for £29,990.
The 1996 Volante convertible is a metallic Toro Red colour and has clocked up 79,000 miles. It has an electric roof, cruise control and heated seats.
The car is being sold by prestige and specialist car sales firm Baker Brothers of Cobham, Surrey.
Sir Elton, 72, began collecting prestige cars – particularly Aston Martins – as soon as he rose to success in the 1970s.