Ferrari Raises 2016 Forecast as Sports Car Sales Help Profit

  • Supercar maker says Chairman Marchionne will also be CEO
  • Adjusted Ebitda seen exceeding 800 million euros in 2016

Ferrari Races to Record First-Quarter Results

Ferrari NV raised forecasts for 2016 after sales of new sports cars helped profit jump 11 percent in the first quarter, the Italian manufacturer’s first as an independent company.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization will total at least 800 million euros ($918 million), Ferrari said Monday in a statement. That compares with an earlier forecast of at least 770 million euros. First-quarter earnings on that basis rose to 178 million euros.

Ferrari, spun off early this year from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, has gotten off to a slow start as a stand-alone company, with the stock trading below its $52 initial public offering price since mid-November. Amid doubts about its prospects, the manufacturer faces tough decisions over pouring resources into its cars, maintaining a pricey presence in Formula 1 racing and extending the brand into more high-end products.

Chairman Sergio Marchionne will have even greater say over that strategy as he also succeeds Chief Executive Officer Amedeo Felisa, whose retirement was announced in a separate statement Monday.

Marchionne’s appointment, effective immediately, adds to the unusual number of executive or board posts he holds. Alongside his roles as CEO of both Fiat Chrysler and Ferrari, Marchionne is vice chairman of Exor SpA, the investment vehicle of Italy’s Agnelli family that controls the carmakers; chairman of truck and tractor manufacturer CNH Industrial NV and product-testing company SGS SA; and an independent director at cigarette producer Philip Morris International Inc.

First-quarter deliveries at Ferrari rose 15 percent to 1,882 cars, including a 24 percent surge in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and a 16 percent gain in greater China, the carmaker said. Growth was propelled by its 8-cylinder models, particularly the newly introduced 488 GTB and 488 Spider sports cars. Revenue increased 8.8 percent to 675 million euros. The company is forecasting full-year revenue of about 3 billion euros, versus an earlier prediction that the figure would exceed 2.9 billion euros, and it plans to sell more than the 7,900 vehicles expected previously.

Ferrari fell as much as 2.2 percent, reversing a gain earlier in the day, and was down 1.6 percent at $45.14 euros as of 11:10 a.m. in New York.

The carmaker’s plans to expand into non-automotive luxury products were a cornerstone of Marchionne’s sales pitch to investors as the supercar manufacturer was spun off from Fiat Chrysler. To help evaluate options, Ferrari’s new board includes Delphine Arnault, executive vice president at LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE; Adam Keswick, deputy managing director of Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd., the parent of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group; and Lapo Elkann, a member of the Agnelli family who helped to create Ferrari’s “tailor made” customization unit in 2011.

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