Sales halve at Aston Martin as pandemic closes dealerships

Sales halve at Aston Martin as pandemic closes dealerships

Troubled car-maker Aston Martin saw sales drop by half in its global dealerships in the second quarter of the year as the coronavirus crisis shut down showrooms.

The manufacturer of James Bond’s vehicle of choice said the second quarter of the year had been much worse than the first – which was unaffected by Covid in the first few weeks.

Its luxury dealerships sold 1,770 cars across both quarters, a drop of 41% overall.

It pushed the company further into the red as loss before tax ballooned to £227.4 million, from £80 million in the same period last year.

Revenue dropped 64% to £146 million, from £406 million.

However the results are likely to be better three months from now as nine in 10 of the dealerships have reopened.

In China, where Aston Martin restarted sales in June, retail sales are up 11% – an “encouraging” sign, bosses said on Wednesday.

Shares rose by around 8% on opening on Wednesday.

It has been a turbulent six months for Aston Martin, which was forced to raise £688 million from a consortium of shareholders led by new chairman Lawrence Stroll.

He said: “Obviously, it has been a challenging period with our dealers and factories closed due to Covid-19, in addition to aligning our sales with inventory with the associated impact on financial performance as we reposition for future success.

“However, I have been most impressed that through this most challenging of times we have been able to reduce our dealers’ sports car inventory by 869 units.”

Meanwhile, the business said that an accounting method error in the US had forced it to recalculate some of its figures from last year.

It meant a reduction of £15.3 million in earnings before interest and tax in 2019.

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