Aston Martin sees shares crash on profit warning

The car giant slashes its 2019 wholesale target to between 6,300-6,500 vehicles.

LONDON: James Bond’s favourite carmaker Aston Martin sent its share price crashing by a fifth on Tuesday after issuing a profit warning on the back of weak global demand and Brexit.

The company – whose cars play a starring role in the fictional British spy’s blockbuster films – warned in a statement that it faced a “worsening” economic environment, particularly in Britain and Europe, and cut its 2019 earnings and sales guidance.

As a result, the car giant slashed its 2019 wholesale target to between 6,300-6,500 vehicles. That was sharply down from prior guidance of 7,100-7,300.

And the group also lowered its 2019 adjusted operating earnings margin to 8%, down from 13%.

Aston Martin, which floated on the London Stock Exchange in October, saw its stock slump 22.18% to 805.40 pence in morning deals on Wednesday.

“Our wholesale performance is adversely impacted by macro-economic uncertainty and enduring weakness in UK and European markets,” said Chief Executive Andy Palmer in the gloomy trading update.

“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,” he added.

“We remain focused… on delivering sustainable long-term growth.”

The company is nevertheless counting the cost of weak economic growth in Europe and home market Britain – which will leave the European Union at the end of October.

In February, Aston Martin set aside £30 million in contingency funds to help it weather any potential disruption arising from Brexit.