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Aston Martin cuts 2019 forecasts on UK, Europe weakness

Aston Martin cuts 2019 forecasts on UK, Europe weakness
FILE PHOTO: 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 Copyright ANDREW YATES(Reuters)
Copyright ANDREW YATES(Reuters)
By Reuters
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(Reuters) - Luxury carmaker Aston Martin <AML.L> on Wednesday lowered several of its forecasts for this year and said macro-economic uncertainty had worsened as weakness in UK and European markets persisted.

The cuts to its guidance come just two months after the automaker had acknowledged that some of its markets faced a "challenging environment", and that it was planning accordingly to avoid problems with deliveries.

"We are disappointed that short-term wholesales have fallen short of our original expectations... We are today taking decisive action to manage inventory and the Aston Martin Lagonda brands for the long-term," Chief Executive Officer Andy Palmer said.

The company, which has seen costs rise due to aggressive investment and its provisions for Brexit, said it now expects annual wholesale volumes to be between 6,300 to 6,500 vehicles, compared with its earlier forecast of 7,100 to 7,300 vehicles.

It also lowered its forecast for adjusted EBITDA margin and said it would cut capital expenditure to about 300 million pounds , from the 320 million to 340 million pounds expected earlier.

"The challenging external environment highlighted in May has worsened, as have macro-economic uncertainties," the company said. "We anticipate that this softness will continue for the remainder of the year and are planning prudently for 2020."

Aston Martin's warning comes alongside one from German peer Daimler AG <DAIGn.DE>, which said it would intensify cost cuts after legal risks for diesel-related issues and the cost of replacing Takata airbags triggered a steep quarterly pretax loss.

(Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham)

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