London: Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings said profit last year slumped, increasing the urgency for the British sports-car maker to attract new capital to fund a turnaround.
Challenging conditions continued through the peak delivery period of December, the company said Tuesday, adding that full-year adjusted earnings were about £130 million ($171 million) to £140 million. The company reported £247 million for 2018.
“2019 has been a very disappointing year,” Chief Executive Officer Andy Palmer said in the statement.
The company, best known as the ride of choice for onscreen spy James Bond, has been battered by an industry downturn, weaker economies and uncertainty around Brexit. Weaker-than-expected sales have forced the carmaker to scale back its sales volume targets. Aston Martin said it’s made progress reducing inventory, which is still “a bit higher than we’d like,” the CEO said on a call.
Aston Martin said it had to boost customer financing support and increase marketing, especially in the US, which undermined its cost-savings plan. The rally in the pound in December has also become an obstacle as it reduces the value of sales from abroad.
The carmaker said it remains in talks with potential investors that were originally announced in December. Aston Martin is trying to reduce pressure from high-interest debt before beginning sales of a crucial $189,000 sport-utility vehicle.
The DBX, Aston Martin’s first SUV, sits at the heart of plans to more than double annual output to 14,000 autos by 2023. Aston Martin said it got orders for 1,800 of that model, meeting a condition it had to obtain a follow-on loan for $100 million.