Aston Martin Holdings (UK) Ltd, the designer and manufacturer of luxury handcrafted sports cars, today reported a record full-year financial performance driven by continued strong demand for the DB11 and special models.
For the 12 months to 31 December 2017, the Group delivered its highest-ever revenues of £876m, up 48% versus the prior year. Adjusted EBITDA more than doubled to £207m, while pre-tax profit rose by a quarter of a billion pounds to £87m, reversing a pre-tax loss of £163m in 2016.
The improved financial performance reflected an increase in wholesale volumes to 5,098 units, Aston Martin’s highest full-year sales volumes in nine years, driven principally by rising demand in North America, the UK and China. Global retail sales increased 58% to 5,117 units up from 3,229 units in 2016.
Dr Andy Palmer, Aston Martin President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “In 2017, we delivered record revenue, full-year profitability and positive free cash flow. The financial turnaround of Aston Martin is now complete, which enables us to drive further improvements across the business as we maintain our new launch schedule and continue delivering on the Second Century Plan. The outstandingly positive reaction to our new models gives us confidence that we will deliver further performance improvement in 2018.”
In the fourth quarter, Aston Martin recorded the strongest three-month performance in its history. The Group reported quarterly revenues of £309.2m, with adjusted EBITDA up 24% to £85.4m. Pre-tax profit of £64.8m was recorded in the three months to 31 December 2017, in contrast to a quarterly pre-tax loss of £38.4m in the prior year period.
The strong fourth quarter and full-year performance resulted in operating cash generation of £343.8m, more than double the level achieved in the previous year. The Group became free cash flow positive one year ahead of plan. With a closing cash position of £167.9m, the Group is well placed to sustain new product investment as part of its ongoing Second Century Plan.
Under the Second Century Plan, Aston Martin is expanding its manufacturing footprint with the construction of a new plant at St Athan in Wales, due to open in 2019, and has resumed production of specialist models at Newport Pagnell for the first time in 10 years.
The Group is continuing the extension of its product range with the launch of new models including the DB11 Volante and new Vantage, and has begun deliveries of its limited-production DB4 GT Continuation model. The product roll-out coincides with a 9% increase in the Group’s average selling price in 2017, reflecting an improving product and market mix – including the benefits of a full year of DB11 sales – and uptake of higher-specification options.
Leading brand valuation experts Brand Finance have named Aston Martin the fastest growing brand in its 2018 Auto 100 table, with its brand value growing 268% in value over the last year.
In December, Aston Martin completed the acquisition of the AM Brands business, bringing the Group’s licensing and luxury design activities in-house. This represents a significant step towards unifying Aston Martin’s global brand strategy, expanding visibility and relevance of the brand to new audiences. Given the growth achieved in 2017, the Group is predicting a further performance improvement in the current year with the launch of the DB11 Volante, new Vantage and Vanquish replacement.
Mark Wilson, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, concluded: “This has been another landmark financial year for Aston Martin, creating a solid foundation for future growth. As part of our ongoing development strategy, we continue to consider a range of strategic options for the future of the Group, including the potential for an IPO. We remain focused on delivering our plans for 2018 and beyond.”