Aston Martin slashes forecasts amid 'disappointing' wholesales

Luxury car maker Aston Martin has cut several forecasts, complaining that the weak economy in the UK and Europe is hitting sales.

Aston Martin bosses cut forecasts operating profit margins to 8 per cent for the full-year. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Aston Martin bosses cut forecasts operating profit margins to 8 per cent for the full-year. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Bosses said they now expect wholesales to be just 6,300 to 6,500, compared with previous expectations of 7,100 to 7,300 cars, and spending was reduced from between £320 million and £340m to around £300m.

Operating profit margin forecasts were cut to 8 per cent for the full-year, dropping from a previously expected 13 per cent.

In an update to the market, the group said: "The challenging external environment highlighted in May has worsened, as have macro-economic uncertainties. We anticipate that this softness will continue for the remainder of the year and are planning prudently for 2020."

Wholesales in the UK slipped to just 565 cars sold in the first half of the year, compared with 683 in the same period a year ago.

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The rest of Europe, the Middle East and Africa dropped 19 per cent from 607 cars to 490, but business in the Americas rose 54 per cent to 700 cars sold, along with a 24 per cent rise to 687 cars in the Asia-Pacific region.

Chief executive Andy Palmer 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."