Aston Martin prepares for more growth ahead of potential flotation

Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Speedster

Luxury British automaker Aston Martin remained in the black in the first quarter of this year, although pretax profit dropped because of a weaker dollar and investment on a series of model launches.

Following six years of losses, James Bond’s favorite automaker swung to a pretax profit in last year, powering speculation of a possible stock market listing.

Finance chief Mark Wilson restated on Monday the decision would be a matter for its shareholders, mostly Italian private equity fund Investindustrial and a group of Kuwaiti investors.

“We continue to observe our options and we are continuing to execute on the plan and that gives our shareholders the most options available to them,” he informed Reuters, when asked about a flotation that one source knowledgeable with the matter has said could value the company at 4 billion pounds ($5.4 billion).

Pretax profit dropped by just over half to 2.8 million pounds in the first three months of the year because of the weaker dollar, as around a third of its demand comes from clients buying in dollars or a currency pegged to it.

At constant currencies, profit increased to 7.4 million pounds.

Aston Martin also increased investment by almost a half to 68 million pounds prior the launch of a series of new models as it went through a changeover plan that saw sales drop by 20 percent to 963 vehicles in the quarter.

Like the remaining automotive sector, the company is pushing ahead with strategies for hybrid and electric models to meet more strict emissions rules and an eventual prohibition on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2040 in Britain.

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