May 15, 2019 / 7:03 AM / 3 months ago

Aston Martin quarterly revenue beats, higher costs hit profit

An Aston Martin car is seen at the production line at the company's world headquarters in Gaydon, Britain, February 14, 2019. REUTERS/Andrew Yates/Files

(Reuters) - Luxury carmaker Aston Martin posted better-than-expected first-quarter revenue on Wednesday as it sold more vehicles in the Americas and China, but higher costs to push expansion led to a loss in the period.

The automaker, which floated on the London Stock Exchange last year, has been plagued by higher costs as it invests more in its manufacturing plants and expands vehicle offerings. It has also tacked on more expenses for contingencies put in place to tackle industry-wide Brexit uncertainties.

“We remain conscious of the challenging external environment in certain of our markets and we have taken this into account in our planning whilst ensuring we do not compromise on delivery,” Chief Executive Officer Andy Palmer said while affirming full-year prospects.

The company’s third ever report card showed wholesale vehicle sales in China surged 29% in the three months ended March 31, and the Americas jumped 20%, offsetting weakness in the UK and Europe.

“This performance reflects the higher than usual dealer inventory levels at the start of the year, particularly in the UK and Europe given the late December deliveries due to fourth quarter supply chain disruption,” the automaker said.

Revenue rose 6% to 196 million pounds ($252.98 million), compared with an company-supplied consensus estimate of 191.4 million pounds.

However, it reported an adjusted operating loss of 2.2 million pounds, compared with a profit of 22 million pounds a year earlier.

($1 = 0.7748 pounds)

Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi and Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr

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