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Ferrari on course for €1bn annual profit as supercar demand rises

Rupert Neate Wealth correspondent
Ferrari’s adjusted profits for the first nine months of 2017 were up 24%. Photograph: Marco Vasini/AP

Ferrari is on course to rake in a record €1bn (£766m) profit this year as the world’s wealthy buy more supercars than ever before.

Sergio Marchionne, the company’s chief executive, said on Thursday that Ferrari’s adjusted profits for the first nine months of 2017 were up 24% and that the firm was on track to meet its target of €1bn annual profit two years ahead of target.

Ferrari, which this week revealed a new racetrack-only FXX K Evo hypercar, has sold 6,381 cars so far this year, a 5% increase on the same period in 2016.

The company’s strong performance follows that of other luxury car brands as demand for the most expensive limited edition models increases.

Worldwide sales of Bentleys, Ferraris, Lamborghinis, McLarens and Rolls-Royces have collectively increased by 51% over the past five years, according to research by Bloomberg Intelligence. The five brands sold 30,000 cars between them last year.

There are now 36,220 supercars registered on UK roads, a 40% increase since 2013, according to analysis of Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) data by the car website Motorway.co.uk.

The increase in high-end car sales comes as the overall UK car market is on course for the first annual decline since 2011. New car registrations dropped by 9.3% in September, the first time crucial new numberplate sales had dropped in six years.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders blamed declining consumer confidence over Brexit for the decline.

Alex Buttle, director of Motorway.co.uk, said: “While many of these cars head overseas, our research shows that lots are being bought by wealthy UK customers, so don’t be surprised to see more Bentleys, Aston Martins and Ferraris parked up on double-yellow [lines] in years to come.”

HR Owen, the British luxury car dealership, reported a 78% increase in pre-tax profits this week to £2.9m on sales up 20% to £428m in the year to April 2017. The dealer, the world’s largest retailer of Rolls-Royce, Bentley and Bugatti brands, sold 1,306 new prestige cars, a 33% increase on the previous year. Secondhand car sales also increased from 1,764 to 1,849.

The growing appetite among wealthy people for luxury cars comes as research shows that the super-rich hold the greatest concentration of wealth since the US “gilded age” at the turn of the 20th century, when families such as the Carnegies, Rockefellers and Vanderbilts controlled vast fortunes.

Billionaires increased their combined global wealth by almost a fifth last year to a record $6tn (£4.5tn), according to the UBS/PwC Billionaires report.

Ferrari has set out out plans to introduce more limited edition models this year to celebrate its 70th anniversary. The company’s shares have more than doubled since it floated on the stock market two years ago.

Almost 80% of Rolls-Royce cars are now customised to buyers demands, which adds an average of 20% to the sale price.