12 September 2017, Gaydon, UK: Aston Martin Holdings (UK) Ltd, the producer of luxury handcrafted sports cars, today welcomed a decision by Moody’s Investors Service to upgrade its credit rating for the company.
The upgrade follows the earlier change in outlook from Stable to Positive, as well as the publication of Aston Martin’s sharply improved first-half financial results.
In the six months to June 30, pre-tax profits reached £21.1m – reversing a loss of £82.3m in the same period of 2016 – on revenues that increased to £410.4m from £211.8m in the first half of 2016. In the second quarter, pre-tax profits reached £15.2m on revenues of £222.0m, compared with a pre-tax loss of £52.6m on revenues of £119.2m in the prior-year quarter.
As part of the ongoing transformation of the company, Aston Martin also recently completed the offering of £550 million of senior secured notes due 2022, with interest of 6.50% on the dollar tranche and 5.75% on the sterling bonds, compared with maturing 10.25% US dollar PIK notes and 9.25% bonds. Moody’s has today upgraded the corporate family rating to B2 from B3 and changed the outlook to stable from positive. Falk Frey, a Moody’s Senior Vice President and lead analyst for Aston Martin, said: “Aston Martin’s upgrade reflects the company’s better than expected operating performance since Q4 2016 and, moreover, Moody’s view of a continued substantial improvement over the period 2017-2019 driven by the successful renewal of Aston Martin’s sports car range, following strong demand for its new DB11 model with V12 and V8 engine variants launched in Q4 2016 and June 2017 respectively”.
The recommendation was welcomed by Mark Wilson, Aston Martin Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. “This upgrade reflects our improving financial performance and the strength of our financial resources,” he said. “We remain focused on delivering our baseline full-year guidance for underlying earnings of £175m on revenues of £830m, driven primarily by demand for our flagship DB11 model.”