Aston Martin has always been a company on the brink of success whilst walking the tightrope of imminent failure. Throughout the company's 105 year history Aston Martin has managed to create a legacy that lasts to this day. You can not buy a legacy you must make it, and that's what Aston Martin have been doing well enough for the legacy to last as long as it has.
For many years Aston seemed content to be a not-for-profit organisation, these days marketing and sales is a lot more sophisticated and it seems the legacy created over those 105 years is finally reaping rewards.
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.
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.