Annual losses at Aston Martin more than doubled last year because of costs from delivering its Valkyrie hypercars, foreign exchange movements and expensive debt.
The luxury-car maker posted a pre-tax loss of £495mn for 2022, compared to £213.8mn in 2021, though the company expects to begin generating cash this year. Revenues rose 26 per cent to £1.4bn, while car sales rose 4 per cent to 6,412.
The business has been on a turnround programme under the ownership of Lawrence Stroll, but has had to recapitalise several times, including a heavily discounted £576mn rights issue in September that made Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund a shareholder. China’s Geely, which has tried several times to buy the company, also took a stake in the business last year.
The Valkyrie, a £2.5mn car that was intended to be the fastest road car ever made, has caused a number of problems for Aston Martin and was one of the driving force behind the losses.
The company collected deposits from customers years ago, and books a depreciation and amortisation cost for every model it delivers.
In addition, Aston said it delivered cars to customers whose payments it claims were stolen by two Swiss car dealers. In 2021 Aston sued them, claiming they withheld more than £10mn, but said it would still deliver the cars as promised.
The two dealers in turn have sued Aston for £150mn, claiming they are owed the money for underwriting the development of the vehicle, and two more sports cars.
Aston delivered 80 Valkyries during the year, including 36 in the final quarter.
Aston’s finances have also been hit by its high-interest debt — costs for this were £139mn during the year. In total, it collected £127mn from car sales, but had a cash outflow of £299mn, including £287mn into developing its new line of sports cars.
It also booked a £156mn non-cash readjustment in the value of its dollar-denominated debt.
The company said it expects a “significant growth in profitability” this year following the release of new models.