It just keeps getting better and better for Aston Martin.

Aston Martin is going from strength to strength at the moment – and things just got better with the announcement that the British sports car maker's sales hit a nine-year high in 2017.

The company shifted 5,117 units last year – an increase of 58 percent – and it comes after it revealed it now expects to beat its previous full-year estimate of £180 million ($243.7M) profit on sales of more than £840M ($1.13B). The positive news comes as the firm's owners consider floating Aston Martin on the stock market.

According to reports last month, Aston Martin was being considered for a stock market listing by its Italian and Kuwaiti majority stakeholders. London-based bank Lazard has reportedly been tasked with the listing, which could see the company valued at between £2B ($2.7B) and £3B ($4B).

Currently, Italian equity fund Investindustrial owns 37.5 percent of the sports car maker, which it bought in 2012. Kuwaiti investors hold a 54.5 percent controlling stake in the setup and Mercedes parent company Daimler owns a five percent stake.

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2018 Aston Martin Vantage

"We continue to perform ahead of expectations, both in terms of financial performance and in meeting our targets for the DB11 and special vehicles," said Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer.

Palmer was hired back in 2014 to turn the manufacturer around and set about introducing a long-term plan to restore success to the Gaydon-based company. Under his watch, the company has introduced the DB11, the new Vantage (and its accompanying racing car), and the Valkyrie hypercar. The former Nissan man has also helped the company return to profit for the first time since 2010.

He isn't the only high-profile name to join the Aston Martin fold in recent years. Powertrain specialists Max Szwaj and Joerg Ross recently joined from Maserati; Matt Becker, one of the geniuses behind Lotus’ famed handling prowess, moved over at the end of 2014; and long-time McLaren test driver Chris Goodwin moved over late last year.

Source: Aston Martin

Gallery: 2018 Aston Martin Vantage

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ASTON MARTIN DELIVERS RECORD SALES GROWTH IN 2017

Group upgrades full-year profit guidance as retail volumes rise 58% to more than 5,100

  • Strong demand for DB11 model lifts retail sales 58% year-on-year
  • Unit sales exceed 5,000 for first time since 2008
  • Manufacturing at a nine-year high
  • Group expects to exceed full-year EBITDA guidance of at least £180 million on revenues of more than £840 million
  • Second Century Plan continues with announcement of new Vantage

04 January 2018, Gaydon, UK: Aston Martin Holdings (UK) Ltd, the producer of luxury handcrafted sports cars, today announced that it sold 5,117 sports cars last year amid sell-out demand for its DB11 model and special vehicles including the Vanquish Zagato and Aston Martin Vantage GT8.

Retail sales, which saw a 58% year-on-year increase, outpaced wholesale supply (up 38%) and the Group now expects to exceed its previous full-year guidance of adjusted EBITDA of at least £180 million on revenues of more than £840 million.  

Dr Andy Palmer, Aston Martin President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “We continue to perform ahead of expectations, both in terms of financial performance and in meeting our targets for the DB11 and special vehicles. This strong sales performance shows that our Second Century transformation plan is building momentum. Phase Two of the programme will be largely completed in 2018 with the introduction of the Vanquish replacement and production of the new Vantage, contributing to continued sustainable profitability at Aston Martin.”

In 2017, Aston Martin achieved its highest full-year sales volumes in nine years, driven by rising demand in North America, the UK and China. This sales performance comes amidst continued strong orders for the DB11, the Vanquish S and for special models that more than doubled year on year to 250 vehicles.

As part of the Second Century Plan, Aston Martin is expanding its UK manufacturing footprint. The company has resumed output of special vehicles, notably the DB4GT Continuation, at its Newport Pagnell facility for the first time since 2007. And construction work is continuing at the new St Athan facility in Wales, due for completion in 2019, ahead of production of the new DBX SUV.

Aston Martin will report 2017 full-year earnings in March 2018.