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Wealthy travelers unable to move around the globe because of pandemic travel restrictions are taking those savings and investing in luxury cars, hence the spike in sales for manufacturers like Aston Martin.

Aston Martin said sales to dealers in 2021 surged 82%, even as the British luxury automaker forecast lower-than-expected annual adjusted core earnings due to delays in shipments of its limited-edition Valkyrie sports car.

Aston Martin said 10 Valkyries were shipped in the fourth quarter, fewer than previously planned.

Aston Martin, fictional agent James Bond’s carmaker of choice, said it expected annual adjusted core earnings to be about 15 million pounds ($20 million) lower than expected.

However, it said the Valkyries that had not yet been shipped were already allocated to customers, with significant deposits.

“The Valkyrie programme is now running at rate for 2022 having focused on delivering with no compromises in the face of supply chain challenges and huge complexity in the production ramp-up which resulted in a timing impact for 2021,” Chief Executive Officer Tobias Moers said in a statement.

Overall, the company sold 6,182 cars last year, helped by demand for its first sport utility vehicle, the DBX. Shares were up 1.3% in early trade.

Pandemic travel restrictions have left many wealthy consumers with more disposable income, fuelling demand for premium and luxury cars.

On Thursday, another British luxury carmaker, Bentley, reported a record year as global sales jumped 31%.

Since going public in 2018, Aston Martin shares have slumped around 30% and the company has burnt through cash, prompting billionaire chairman Lawrence Stroll to buy a stake in the company as part of plans to raise money.

The company said its cash balance at the end of 2021 was around 420 million pounds, higher than anticipated.

($1 = 0.7385 pounds) (Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil and Chris Peters in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Kevin Liffey)

This article was from Reuters and was legally licensed through the Industry Dive publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected].

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Tags: luxury travel, tourism

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