Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings PLC (LSE:AML)‘s third-quarter progress today was slightly overshadowed by a row between the company and many of its uber-rich customers who are awaiting the delivery of their Valkyrie supercar.
The FTSE 250 company reported revenue up 92% year-on-year to GBP237.6mln while operating losses more than halved from GBP70mln to GBP30mln.
Deliveries of the Aston Martin Valkyrie sports car are expected to begin next quarter, it said, with the first customers’ car already built.
“If the Valkyrie hypercar [is successful], due for first deliveries next quarter, [it] should help with both brand image and margins,” commented Nicholas Hyett, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.
Limited edition cars like the Valkyrie are Aston’s most profitable, making its relationships with well-connected dealers hugely important.
However, in June, Aston’s billionaire chairman Lawrence Stroll and 16.7% shareholder ended the company’s lucrative partnership with Swiss car dealer Nebula Project, around which a legal battle is continuing.
Aston accused Nebula’s owners Florian Kamelger and Andreas Baenziger of “failure to pay some customer deposits for Aston Martin Valkyrie programme orders received” which would result in a GBP15mln hit to its finances, which they denied.
“[Aston] have promised people their Valkyries and if they do not deliver now, they are going to lose credibility,” said Kamelger and Baenziger in a statement.
One major UK luxury car dealer told the Telegraph the situation is damaging for Aston, while a car owner who did not want to be specified said the legal battle “will only create losers.”
Aston Martin’s share price rose 2.5% to 1800p on 4 October following its third-quarter results.