Aston Martin is gearing up to float on the London Stock Exchange later this year after the luxury British sports car maker reported a record set of half-year results.
The maker of James Bond’s cars saw sales rise 14% in the first six months of 2018 to £444.9mln, buoyed by strong demand for its special edition Vanquish Zagato range and growing interest in Asia.
That helped pre-tax profits to creep up to £20.8mln from £20.1mln this time last year.
It marks quite a turnaround for the business under chief executive Andy Palmer and his ‘Second Century Plan’.
Last year, Aston Martin turned its first annual profit since 2010, with pre-tax profits coming in at £87mln, reversing the £163mln loss from 2016.
Palmer has been positioning the company for a stock market float since he arrived from Nissan back in 2014 and, with Aston back in the black, it seems he will now finally get his way.
Reports suggest at least 25% of the shares will be floated as part of the initial public offering (IPO), which is expected to value the group at around £5bn.
Aston’s current backers, Italian group Invest Industrial and the Kuwaiti investment fund Investment Dar, will sell down some shares, while Mercedes Benz-owner Daimler, which owns 5% Aston and has a technology sharing agreement with the company, will remain a shareholder.
"Today's announcement represents a key milestone in the history of the company, which is reporting strong financial results and increased global demand for its award-winning sports cars,” said Palmer.
“Since launching the Second Century Plan in 2015, Aston Martin Lagonda has been transformed into a luxury business focused on creating the world's most beautiful high-performance cars.”
He added: “This transformation has delivered significant growth in revenues, unit volumes and profitability.”