In Brief

Aston Martin sets up £30m contingency fund for no-deal Brexit

Company chief says Britain’s divorce from the EU is becoming an ‘annoyance’

Aston Martin will set aside a £30m contingency fund to ensure that its operations are not affected by a problematic or no-deal Brexit. 

The British luxury carmaker has made “no secret” of the fact that it is “less exposed to the possibility of extra tariffs and supply disruption” brought on by a no-deal Brexit than other companies, such as Ford and Nissan, says Sky News

But in an interview with Reuters, Andy Palmer, Aston Martin’s chief executive, said that the continuing uncertainty over Brexit was becoming an “annoyance”. 

“You’re holding that contingency stock for longer, which means that your working capital is tied up for longer,” Palmer said. “More importantly, what you’re doing is you’re creating continued uncertainty.”

Around £2m of the fund will be put towards revising supply chain routes, The Guardian says. This includes the hiring of a new head of supply chains, as well as plans to “fly in components or bring them in through naval ports”.

Britain will leave the European Union on 29 March, with MPs due to vote on a deal proposed by Theresa May on 12 March. 

The news comes after Aston Martin posted pre-tax losses of £68m for 2018 this morning, which are “largely” the result of the £136m in costs it racked up after its stock market flotation last October, the Financial Times reports. 

Shares in the luxury carmaker have also “fallen by more than a third” since its flotation, the FT notes. Values dropped 18% this morning to £11.30p, even though the company posted a 25% increase in revenue thanks to rising car sales.

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