- Aston Martin plans to launch IPO in London later this year, and is expected to be valued at £5 billion.
- The luxury British car maker saw half-year profits reach record levels after seven consecutive profitable quarters. The public listing of over 25% shares could see it enter the FTSE 100.
- The company plans to pivot towards the Asian market, aiming to increase the proportion of Asian sales from 16% to over a quarter of total sales annually.
- “This is a monumental moment,” chief executive Andy Palmer said.
Aston Martin has announced plans to go public and float on the London Stock Exchange later this year, following half-year results that saw profits and sales reach record levels for the high-end British car maker.
The firm is expected to be valued at around £5 billion (US$6.44 billion/AU$8.9 billion) at the IPO. The decision to publicly list comes after seven consecutive profitable quarters and represents a turnaround for the car maker which has been bankrupt seven times.
“This is a monumental moment,” chief executive Andy Palmer told the Financial Times.
“When I started in 1979 there were lots of British car companies. Over the course of my career those have disappeared. Car making in the UK is in a healthy state, but companies are foreign owned. Now we will have an independent British car company again.”
The company reported a 14% climb in revenues in the opening half of the year, hitting £449.9 million ($US580 million), and a rise of pre-tax profits from £20.1 million to £20.8 million ($US25.9 million to $US26.8 million), helped by growing demand in Asia and the launch of three new sports car lines.
The firm reported a 24% pre-tax profit margin, once the costs of preference shares and other measures were removed from consideration.
The plans for listing, due to happen later this year, will see at least 25% of the shares float on the stock market. It is possible that the firm could end up in the blue chip FTSE 100 index, although that will depend on the stock’s early performance.
Company backers, Italian group Invest Industrial and the Kuwaiti investment fund Investment Dar will sell some shares, and Daimler which owns a 4.9% stake will remain a shareholder.
Aston Martin expects to sell 6,200 to 6,400 cars this year, rising to 7,100 to 7,300 next, climbing to 9,800 in 2020 once a new production plant is completed. The company plans to make 14,000 cars per year in the long run through both the original Aston Martin badge and the relaunch of its Lagonda brand as a luxury electric car maker.
The firm plans to adjust its global sales balance, reducing its focus on the UK market which represents 30% of its current sales and putting more emphasis on Asia where it believes sales will rise from 16% to over over a quarter, with the help of a new sports utility vehicle that will be ready in 2020.
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