FILE: A pedestrian passes an Aston Martin DB11 automobile parked outside 'Aston Martin at No. 8 Dover Street' luxury brand experience boutique by Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd. in London, U.K., on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016. Aston Martin is targeting a valuation of as much as 5 billion pounds ($6.8 billion) in a potential initial public offering of the British sports car maker, according to people familiar with the matter. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg
An Aston Martin DB11 © Bloomberg

Aston Martin is considering an initial public offering, as the luxury carmaker notched up record revenues and a £250m increase in profit last year.

The company, which reported its strongest car sales in nine years, announced on Monday that it was considering “a range of strategic options for the future of the group, including the potential for an IPO”.

The business is majority owned by Kuwait’s Investment Dar and Italy’s Investindustrial, while Mercedes-Benz owner Daimler has a 5 per cent stake and an agreement to provide Aston Martin with some engines and other technology.

If, as is widely expected, Aston Martin lists this year, the move will cement a recovery that has seen the former Ford division unwind years of losses and build a plan to replace its vehicles on a seven-year cycle.

“The turnround is done”, said chief executive Andy Palmer. “Now it’s all about growth.”

For 2017, Aston Martin reported £876m of revenues, the highest in its history, with pre-tax profits of £87m compared with a £163m loss the previous year. It generated £243.8m of cash during the year, more than double the previous year.

About £64.8m of the profit was generated in the final quarter, which Aston Martin said was the best three-month period in its history, with revenues of £309.2m.

Buyers in the US, UK and China pushed car sales to 5,098, its highest level in nine years.

The company declined to give guidance for this year, but the start of production of its two newest cars — Vantage and Vanquish — means the business expects its Gaydon plant to reach capacity in the second half of the year.

Once that happens, the company will manage demand by extending waiting lists and raising prices, Mr Palmer said.

Aston Martin is also opening a site at St Athan in Wales to make the DBX sport utility vehicle, with the potential to produce more vehicles at the site in future.

Together, both locations have the potential to produce a total of 14,000 cars a year.

During the year, Aston Martin also brought its brand licensing arm AM Brands in-house, a move that consolidates the company ahead of a potential stock market listing.

The division is responsible for use of the Aston Martin brand and design teams on other products, from an upmarket Miami condominium block to a £1.3m luxury speedboat.

Aston Martin’s brand, closely linked to James Bond, is one of its strongest assets, and the company hopes to unveil more collaborations to use its marque in the coming weeks.

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