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29 Jul 2020 | 07:42

Aston Martin losses widen on weak sales but signs of China recovery

(Sharecast News) - Losses at luxury carmaker Aston Martin widened in the first half as Covid-related factory closures hit already-struggling sales, although there were signs of a recovery in China during June. The company on Wednesday reported pre-tax losses of £227.4m from £80m a year earlier on revenue that plunged 64% to £146m.

Retail sales fell 41%, while wholesale figures were down 63% year-on-year. In China, where all dealerships re-opened in June, retail sales rose 11% year-on-year for the month.

The company has pinned its hopes on its DBX sports utility vehicle selling into the lucrative Chinese market. Pre-pandemic sales were hit by the China-US trade war, exacerbated by lockdowns in the UK and Asia as the virus spread.

"It has been a challenging period with our dealers and factories closed due to Covid-19, in addition to aligning our sales with inventory with the associated impact on financial performance as we reposition for future success," said executive chairman Lawrence Stroll.

"However, I have been most impressed that through this most challenging of times we have been able to reduce our dealers' sports car inventory by 869 units."

Stroll said trading remained challenging in many markets and the pace of emergence from lockdown and consumer recovery varied significantly.

"This will impact the duration of the dealer de-stocking process for sports cars, currently expected to continue well into 2021," he added.

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