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Aston Martin issues profit warning while Rolls-Royce and Bentley sales surge

By Ramla Soni

Luxury carmaker's annual core profit predicted to drop more than 45 per cent from 2019 after weak demand in Europe

Aston Martin, the luxury British carmaker has issued a profit warning after a "very disappointing" 2019. Meanwhile, Bentley and Rolls-Royce report strong performance in sales.

The 106-year-old firm, which is James Bond’s car brand of choice, warned that its annual core profit would drop more than 45 per cent from last year, as weak demand in Europe led to a drop in wholesale volumes.

Aston Martin said these conditions had continued through its peak delivery period in December and led to a 7 per cent drop in wholesale volumes (cars sold via other dealers) for the year, despite core retail sales growing by 12 per cent.

The company said it was expecting earnings of between £130m and £140m, well below the £247.3m it reported last year. Shares in the company fell 11 per cent in early trading.

In contrast, sales at Rolls-Royce surged 25 per cent last year as it sold a record number of cars, mainly driven by the sales of the Cullinan SUV model. The luxury carmaker said it sold 5,152 cars in 2019 compared with 4,107 in 2018.

Similarly, British luxury carmaker Bentley returned to profitability in 2019, driven by a 5 per cent sales increase after a strong performance in Europe and the Americas.

Sales reached 11,006 vehicles last year, boosted by the new Continental GT Convertible model and a series of derivatives and limited edition models.

The firm did not disclose its profit figure for the year but in the first nine months of 2019, operating profit was €65m ($73m).

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