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Aston Martin warns on profits as £2.5m Hypercar suffers delivery delays Carmaker expects £15m hit

Aston Martin’s £2.5m Valkyrie hypercar has a limited run of 150 models and has been plagued by delays © Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters

Delays to deliveries of Aston Martin’s £2.5m hypercar will hit profits, after the luxury carmaker delivered fewer Valkyrie models than expected in December.

The company shipped 10 Valkyrie and Valkyrie AMR Pro vehicles in the fourth quarter, “fewer than previously planned”, it said in an update on Friday. The lower number dragged down the carmaker’s full-year adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation, which are set to be about £15m lower than expected.

“An associated reduction in 2021 depreciation and amortisation is expected to result in a broadly net neutral impact on adjusted operating profit,”

Aston Martin said.

It said the delayed deliveries would happen this year, adding that profits would not suffer in the longer term. “The impact is timing only, all Aston Martin Valkyrie Coupes are sold and remain allocated to customers with significant deposits,” Aston Martin said.

The Valkyrie is a flagship product for Aston Martin, with a limited run of 150 models and 30 more for a racetrack version, but the project has been plagued by delays since its inception in 2016.

Deliveries last year were heavily delayed because of difficulties in the testing process to make the car legal to drive on the road, according to several people familiar with the development programme. In November, at its most recent trading update, Aston chief executive Tobias Moers told investors the car was taking longer than expected to build.

On Friday, Lawrence Stroll, Aston’s executive chair, said: “We inherited a challenging programme with Valkyrie but we are now producing these fabulous hypercars. Our progress to date underpins my confidence in the future, our continued success and the potential for the business.”

Canadian billionaire Stroll led a £500m bailout of the carmaker in 2019, with the aim of turning round the business.

The company on Friday also said it had £420m of cash, which is higher than had been expected.

Shares in Aston, which fell 30 per cent during 2021, rose 2.6 per cent on the news to 1,406p. Aston’s shares “have been pricing a profit miss since October”, said Philippe Houchois, an automotive analyst at Jefferies, who nevertheless called the update “disappointing”.

The group sold 6,182 cars last year, of which roughly 3,000 were its DBX sport utility vehicle.

While a significant increase on 2020, when its factories were closed for months because of the pandemic, the number is close to the 5,862 it sold in 2019, before the launch of the DBX.