Business Maverick

Ferrari sales hold up, but outlook lowered

By Bloomberg 4 May 2020
Caption
The prancing horse logo sits on a Ferrari NV 488 Pista automobile on day two of the 88th Geneva International Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland.

The economic shock emanating from the coronavirus pandemic has done little to dent demand for Ferraris, among the world’s most expensive automobiles, according to the maker of the 1.6 million-euro ($1.74 million) Monza supercar.

The Ferrari order book remains “strong,” despite the outbreak and a seven-week shutdown of its Italian plants that could mean lost production of 2,000 vehicles, Ferrari NV Chief Financial Officer Antonio Picca Piccon said on a conference call Monday. Deliveries in the first quarter rose about 5%.

The carmaker’s decision to lower its earnings guidance for 2020 shows that even the world’s most iconic brands are feeling the pressure, but Ferrari predicted a bounce-back in the second half of the year.

Read more: Ferrari Lowers 2020 Guidance

“Evidence from the prior financial crisis suggests demand should remain robust,” Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Michael Dean said in a report. “However, the main risk is that production will again be shuttered if there’s a second wave of Covid-19 infections in Italy.”

The shares rebounded from a loss of as much as 6.3% in Milan to end Monday 1.5% higher.

Back to Work

Employees may be asked to work on Saturdays and to shorten their summer holidays to enable Ferrari to make up about half of the lost volume, Piccon added. The manufacturer restarted its Maranello and Modena sites on Monday, and plans to reach full production on May 8.

Europe Takes Its First Baby Steps Toward a Post-Lockdown Normal

The Italian government, led by Premier Giuseppe Conte, is taking the first steps toward a gradual reopening of the economy after imposing almost two months of confinement to fight the pandemic. Italy became a European epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, with more than 210,000 confirmed cases and a death toll of about 29,000.

Automakers from Daimler AG to Renault SA have cut or scrapped guidance in recent weeks because of lockdowns tied to Covid-19.

Ferrari has seen several order cancellations, primarily in the U.S. and Australia, “but nothing that we would deem to be alarming,” Chief Executive Officer Louis Camilleri told analysts on Monday.

Fewer Formula One races, including many without fans, will cut into sponsorship and other income, he said.

‘Resiliency’

Ferrari sees a pickup in the second half of the year that may lead to faster revenue and profit growth than in the same period of 2019.

The luxury carmaker introduced a record five new models in 2019, including the Roma Coupe, with a mid-front-mounted 620-horsepower engine. That helped it boost sales to more than 10,000 units a year for the first time. Lockdowns notwithstanding, Ferrari delivered 2,728 units in the first quarter.

The carmaker, controlled by the Agnelli family’s investment company Exor NV, reported first-quarter adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of 317 million euros, compared with analyst estimates of 321.3 million euros. Sales totaled 932 million euros, below the 946.1 million-euro estimate.

The results show “a strong resilency,” Massimo Vecchio, an analyst for UBI Banca, said in a note.

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