January 7, 2020 / 7:43 AM / 7 months ago

UPDATE 1-Aston Martin expects annual profit to nearly halve on Europe weakness

(Adds details, CEO comment, background)

Jan 7 (Reuters) - Luxury British carmaker Aston Martin on Tuesday warned that its annual core profit would plummet more than 45% from last year, as weak demand in Europe led to a drop in wholesale volumes.

The 106-year-old firm, famed for being fictional agent James Bond's brand of choice, had in November highlighted tough trading conditions, particularly in the UK and Europe, and weak demand for its Vantage model.

The company said these conditions had continued through its peak delivery period in December and led to a 7% drop in wholesale volumes for the year.

It expects 2019 adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of between 130 million pounds and 140 million pounds, compared with 247.3 million pounds ($325.37 million) a year earlier.

"From a trading perspective, 2019 has been a very disappointing year," Chief Executive Officer Andy Palmer said, as the company now expects adjusted EBITDA margin of 12.5% to 13.5%, down from 22.6% in 2018.

The broader global automotive industry has also endured a torrid year, hit by declining sales in China and its trade war with the United States as well as tougher regulation on diesel vehicles sales. ($1 = 0.7601 pounds) (Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Arun Koyyur)

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