Shares in Aston Martin have dived as the Gaydon-based car maker cut its sales and profit forecasts, attributing the fall to weak markets in the UK and Europe and economic uncertainty.
The luxury marque said it was “taking immediate actions to improve efficiency and reduce the costs base as [it] heads into 2020”.
Shares fell 22% in early trading, taking them down to around £8, a 55% fall over the £19 price which valued the company at £4.3bn when it first floated in October 2018.
Aston Martin’s revised wholesale volumes are now 6300 to 6500 vehicles for the full year, down from the 7100 to 7300 units forecast at the time of its annual results in February.
Wholesale car sales fell 22% in the UK and by 28% in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, while it was a rosier picture elsewhere: in America, now Aston Martin’s biggest market, volumes rose by 20% in the first half of the year.
Aston Martin said retail sales grew by 26% in the first six months of 2019 but the poor performance in wholesale - which grew by only 6% globally - prompted a downgrading of full-year financial expectations.
Along with a revised outlook on volumes, Aston Martin is expecting full-year figures to see an adjusted EBITDA [earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization] margin down 20% and profit margin down 8%.
Aston Martin said: “We anticipate that this softness will continue for the remainder of the year and are planning prudently for 2020."
Chief executive Andy Palmer has previously warned of the potential impact a no-deal Brexit could have on the car industry.
It added: “During the first half, we have been disciplined, as appropriate for our luxury positioning in maintaining the quality of sales with core wholesales up 9% supporting a continued reduction in dealer inventory as we prepare the network for DBX.”
Palmer commented: “Whilst retails have grown by 26% 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.
“We are today taking decisive action to manage inventory and the Aston Martin Lagonda brands for the long-term. We remain focused on the successful execution of the Second Century Plan and on delivering sustainable long-term growth.”