LUXURY car maker Aston Martin has cut several forecasts, complaining that the weak economy in the UK and Europe is hitting sales.
Bosses said they now expect sales through the wholesale division to be just 6,300 to 6,500, compared with previous expectations of 7,100 to 7,300 cars.
Profit margin predictions have also been cut, with underlying figures now expected to be 20 per cent instead of 24 per cent and adjusted operating profit margins of just eight per cent versus the 13 per cent that was previously guided. Spending will also be cut from between £320 million and £340 million to £300 million.
Wholesales in the UK slipped from 683 cars sold to just 565 in the first half of the year compared with the same period a year ago.
The rest of Europe, the Middle East and Africa dropped by 19 per cent from 607 cars to 490, but business in the Americas rose by 54 per cent with 700 cars sold versus 454 a year ago.
Andy Palmer, Aston Martin chief executive, said: ‘Whilst retails have grown by 26 per cent year-to-date, our wholesale performance is adversely impacted by macro-economic uncertainty and enduring weakness in UK and European markets.
‘We are disappointed that short-term wholesales have fallen short of our original expectations, but we are committed to maintaining quality of sales and protecting our brand position first and foremost.’
The news sent shares plummeting by 242.8p, or 23.5 per cent, to 792.2p in early trading today.
Aston Martin has struggled to win over the City since joining the stock market last October. Shares were 1,900p then, making it one of the worst-performing flotations of the past year.
There had also been heavy criticism over the cost of the float, after bosses revealed it cost £136m to list the business.