Tuesday 29 April 2014

Aston to share Daimler V8 powertrains

Aston Martin, which has achieved a 13 per cent increase in revenue for 2013 to £519 million, is to share development of “world-class bespoke V8 powertrains” with Mercedes AMG.

Aston Martin Holdings (UK) Limited, in announcing its full year results for the 12 months ended 31 December 2013, also revealed full-year EBITDA up 22 per cent to £84.8 million.

The company also revealed global retail volumes have recovered after the “challenging market conditions” of 2012 to rise 11 per cent to “about 4,200”.

This compares with a retail sales volume figure of some 3,800 units declared in the 2012 results when the full-year adjusted EBITDA figure was revealed as £69.3million.

No figure for 2012 revenue was given in the company’s press statement dated 11 April 2012. However, in October 2013 the company’s results filed at Companies House, London revealed 2012 sales of £461.2 million with a pre-tax loss of £24.6 million compared with £21.2 million the previous year.  

Aston Martin chief financial officer, Hanno Kirner commented this week: “We have made excellent progress on a number of fronts in 2013: growing our global sales, improving our EBITDA and building further on the company’s strong brand as we celebrated our centenary around the globe.” 

“We will, in the next few years, be implementing the biggest investment programme in our 101-year history, preparing the ground for new and exciting products in the future,” he added.

In last year’s statement Kimer confirmed that "The recent £150 million capital increase supports a significant new product investment programme of more than £500 million over the next five years.”

And Aston Martin chief executive officer, Dr Ulrich Bez added at the time: "We have started 2013, our centenary year, at the forefront of design and technology with the launch of Rapide S and we look forward to welcoming our new investors, Investindustrial.”

As part of its refreshing strategy, Aston Martin confirmed late last year that it had created a business association with Daimler AG to prepare for the powertrain challenges that would be required to meet future demands from the market. Developing an entirely new engine family by itself would be an extremely costly venture for the UK-based company.

And Kimer noted this year that “Our strong ownership structure and strategic partnership with Daimler AG, finalised in December 2013, provides us with a solid foundation for the unprecedented investment programme that will underpin our future growth.” 

“We are engineering a completely new architecture and technologies to ensure that our next generation of sports cars is at the forefront of design, performance and technology.  The strategic partnership with Daimler AG will bring with it cutting edge electrical and electronic expertise, and the shared development of world-class bespoke V8 powertrains.”

The company restated this year that in order to facilitate the biggest investment programme in the history of the brand, the company’s capital structure had been significantly strengthened in April 2013 when experienced sector investor, Investindustrial, joined Primewagon and Adeem Investment and the other existing shareholders.

It is understood that for its £150 million investment Investindustrial has a 37.5 per cent stake in Aston Martin Holdings (UK) Limited.

According to Aston Martin, the 2013 results benefited from an improved model and market mix and the 13 per cent increase in revenue was supported by full year sales of the Vanquish Coupe and the launch of anticipated Vanquish Volante and V12 Vantage S models in Q4. In addition the company strengthened the existing dealer network and opened in new markets, including Mexico and Thailand.

The company does not however break out individual model sales figures, including those of the Rapid S. It will be recalled that in June 2011, Aston Martin decided not to continue the cooperation with Austrian-Canadian Magna International which began manufacture of the Rapide at a facility operated by Magna Steyr in Graz in 2009. Aston Martin explained at the time it could build the car "more effectively" at its headquarters' plant in Gaydon, Warwickshire. Many Aston workers at the time believed the Rapide could have been built at its former Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire headquarters and now restores classic Aston Martins and Lagondas.

The company also no longer makes the Cygnet, the result of its joint venture with Toyota. It remains to be seen if Aston Martin's latest collaboration is third time lucky for the company.

A consortium purchased Aston Martin Lagonda from Ford in 2007 for £500 million.

Aston Martin will file its 2013 results at Companies House in September.

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