By Eric Sylvers
Ferrari NV reported a 20% jump in third-quarter profit Monday, enough to push the Italian luxury sports-car maker to boost its 2016 financial forecasts for the second time this year.
Higher volumes, price increases and cost reductions for Ferrari's Formula One team were behind the raised forecasts, said Chairman and Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne.
Mr. Marchionne appeared to rule out investing more in Formula One, saying, "I think I've thrown all the money I'd like to throw at that thing."
Through the first nine months of the year, Ferrari shipped 6,074 cars, 8% more thanin the comparative period last year. The company has raised prices by more than 1% this year as waiting lists to buy its cars have grown, the executive said on a call with analysts.
Net profit for the three months ended Sept. 30 rose to EUR113 million ($125 million) from EUR94 million in the comparative three months last year, as the company sold more of its higher-margin 12-cylinder cars. The quarter saw the first shipments of the LaFerrari Aperta, which costs around $2 million.
Special edition models like the convertible Aperta, which is replacing a hardtop version of the same car, have helped Ferrari increase revenue and profit since the run up to its initial share sale a year ago. But the company has become increasingly reliant on selling the special edition and other one-off models, according to some analysts.
So far, there is ample demand for these cars. Ferrari sold all 200 Apertas before the first one had been shipped,with some loyal clients getting a call from the company to see if they wanted to buy.
Revenue in the third quarter climbed 8.3% to EUR783 million. While revenue from the sale of cars and spare parts was little changed, Ferrari almost doubled the revenue it derived from the sale of engines to Maserati and the renting of engines to Formula One race teams.
Ferrari said it saw full-year gross operating profit at EUR850 million, up from a previous forecast of EUR800 million. While the increase is a relatively modest 6.3%, analysts cheered the move, as Ferrari is coming off record sales and profit in 2015.
Mr. Marchionne said he remained "obsessed" with reaching EUR1 billion in gross operating profit, but wouldn't indicate when that might be reached. He said he would give an outlook for 2017 when Ferrari reported fourth-quarter results.
Net industrial debt was EUR585 million at the end of September. Ferrari previously anticipated that would jump to EUR730 million by the end of the year, but Monday trimmed that forecast to EUR700 million.
The company still saw full-year revenue at more than EUR3 billion and expected to ship a record 8,000 cars.
The dividend payout on this year's net profit will likely exceed the 30% the company paid on 2015 earnings, Mr. Marchionne said.
Ferrari shares rose 6.2% to $54.22 in New York trading, taking the stock above the $52 price set for the initial share sale in October last year.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 07, 2016 12:02 ET (17:02 GMT)
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