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Aston Martin's third-quarter sales double

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FILE PHOTO: An Aston Martin logo is pictured at the new factory in Saint Athan
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LONDON (Reuters) - Aston Martin said on Thursday it had sold 1,349 cars to dealers in its third quarter, up 104%, driven by demand for the luxury automaker's first sport utility vehicle, the DBX.

The brand, which posted a 97.9 million pound ($134 million)pre-tax loss between July and September, said it expected to deliver its first steps towards improved profitability this year as it undergoes a transformation plan.

Fictional agent James Bond's carmaker of choice had had a tough time after floating in 2018, as it burnt through cash, prompting it to bring in fresh investment and a new strategy from billionaire Executive Chairman Lawrence Stroll.

It maintained on Thursday its guidance of full-year sales of around 6,000 cars as it scales up production of its Valkyrie model with deliveries beginning this quarter.

"Through the first nine months of this year we have successfully built on the foundations we put in place for the company's success in 2020," said Stroll.

"Not only do we have low dealer inventory, but it is also healthy and fresh - a testament to our shift to ultra-luxury positioning."

($1 = 0.7323 pounds)

(Reporting by Costas Pitas; Editing by Kate Holton)

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