£15m profit hit as hyped-up hypercar fails to deliver

Profits at luxury carmaker Aston Martin Lagonda will be around £15m lower than expected after it shipped just 10 of its “era-defining hypercar” Valkyrie.

The manufacturer is producing 150 units of the £3m Valkyrie and 25 of its track-only version, the Valkyrie AMR Pro.

But despite reassurances to the market in November of “production scaling up” for the Valkyrie and the AMR Pro was “on track”, the company has had to admit deliveries are stuck in the slow lane.

The Gaydon-based manufacturer blamed “an extensive and challenging development and testing schedule” for the vehicles, which have all been sold to customers that have paid significant deposits.

Tobias Moers, Aston Martin Lagonda’s chief executive, said: “The Valkyrie programme is now running at rate for 2022 having focused on delivering with no compromises in the face of supply chain challenges and huge complexity in the production ramp-up which resulted in a timing impact for 2021.

“With a full year of Aston Martin Valkyrie programme deliveries in 2022 we are expecting to deliver significant growth, in addition to the launch of our second DBX derivative, intended to disrupt the performance luxury SUV market and the final edition of the V12 Vantage.”

The issues with the Valkyrie will reduce adjusted EBITDA by £15m, although the company expects an “associated reduction in 2021 depreciation and amortisation” to result in its adjusted operating profits being largely unaffected when it releases its financial figures at the end of February.

It fully expects the profits to come through, only later, with deliveries to continue this year and now into 2023.

Aston Martin Lagonda’s core business has performed more strongly. Retail sales have been greater than wholesale – helping to deal with a backlog at dealerships in part caused by the pandemic – while wholesale figures were up 82% in line with its plan.

Lawrence Stroll, Aston Martin Lagonda’s executive chairman, added: “The evidence is there that our strategy is working, as retail sales are well ahead of wholesales supported by strong pricing and improving residual values. It is a very long time since the core business was in such good health as it is today.

“We have achieved an enormous amount and are well on track with our transformation of Aston Martin into one of the greatest ultra-luxury brands in the world with new leadership, partners and products, and our return to Formula One, which has significantly increased our brand exposure, perception and desirability.”