Ferrari postpones 2022 targets due to pandemic, shares dip

MILAN -Ferrari on Tuesday postponed its 2022 financial targets by a year due to the pandemic despite reporting a record order book, sending shares in the luxury carmaker lower.

"We expect the prudent steps we took in 2020 and are continuing in 2021 to adjust our expenditure in response to the COVID-19 emergency, will postpone by one year the achievement of our year-end 2022 guidance," Chairman and acting CEO John Elkann said in a statement, presenting the company's first-quarter results.

Shares fell as much as 6.8% and by 1256 GMT were down 5.2%.

A Milan-based trader said the target postponement was not good news, since Ferrari shares were not cheap.

"This has raised concerns that the COVID-19 impact on the company could be greater than expected," he said.

In its plan presented in 2018, the automaker behind the 'Cavallino Rampante' or 'Prancing Horse' badge guided for adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to grow between 1.8-2.0 billion euros in 2022.

It targeted a margin over adjusted EBITDA of more than 38%.

However, the company said on Tuesday its "excellent" results, a "robust" net order intake and a record order book made it confident it would reach the top end of the forecasts it had set for this year.

In the first quarter, EBITDA rose 19% to 376 million euros ($452 million) versus the 369 million expected by analysts in a poll. The margin rose to 37.2% from 34% a year earlier.

Ferrari - which is still in a search process for a new chief executive to permanently replace former boss Louis Camilleri who stepped down in December - said shipments rose just 1% in the January-March period to 2,771. They were affected by geographical allocation and the phase-in pace of some new models, such as the hybrid SF90 Stradale and the Roma models.

As a result, shipments increased more than five-fold in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, but were almost flat in EMEA and Americas regions.

($1 = 0.8319 euros)

(Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari, additional reporting by Giancarlo Navach, editing by Jason Neely and Bernadette Baum)

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