Ferrari profit beats analyst estimates as new chief executive set to join car maker

Italian manufacturer will unveil its first vehicle that runs entirely on batteries in 2025

Ferrari largely met expectations with its last set of earnings before the supercar maker installs a new chief executive from outside the car industry as it goes through a period of dramatic upheaval.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation rose to €386 million ($458m) during the second quarter, Ferrari said on Tuesday, compared with an average analyst estimate of €344m.

While revenue was slightly below expectations, the company boosted its annual free cashflow forecast.

Ferrari has been slow to embrace electrification and its hesitancy has started to catch up with the performance of its stock after years of outperforming rivals.

The company has picked industry outsider Benedetto Vigna, 52, as its new chief executive to put it on course for the era of battery technology and digital services.

Mr Vigna will join the car maker from chipmaker STMicroelectronics in September.

The Italian manufacturer will unveil its first vehicle that runs entirely on batteries in 2025, chairman John Elkann said earlier this year, lagging Porsche’s popular Taycan that has been on the road since 2019.

Ferrari will share more details on its plans during a capital markets day next year. It will also start selling its first SUV, the Purosangue, in 2022, years after the Bentley Bentayga or Lamborghini’s Urus.

In June, Ferrari unveiled its second plug-in hybrid, the 819-horsepower 296 GTB but many analysts still consider the pace of electrification to be too slow.

Mr Elkann, Ferrari’s chairman, acting chief executive and leader of the billionaire Agnelli clan, has a successful history in hiring surprise candidates.

In 2004, he picked Sergio Marchionne to join Fiat and Ferrari from SGS, a Geneva product-testing company. He successfully transformed Fiat and eventually combined it with Chrysler.

Louis Camilleri, Ferrari’s former chief executive, was also an outsider having previously worked for cigarette maker Philip Morris International.

At STMicro, Mr Vigna led the chip maker’s division that supplies key sensors used in Apple’s iPhone and car makers’ navigation systems, and counted the world’s biggest automotive supplier Robert Bosch as a customer.

Among his priorities will be balancing the desires of longtime Ferrari fans in awe of roaring combustion engines and a younger clientele keen for industry-leading technology in the battery age.

Updated: August 2nd 2021, 12:46 PM
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