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Above, a Ferrari SpA 458 Spider. The famous Prancing Horse motif has galloped through its best annual sales in the company's 66-year history. Gabriela Maj / Bloomberg News
Above, a Ferrari SpA 458 Spider. The famous Prancing Horse motif has galloped through its best annual sales in the company's 66-year history. Gabriela Maj / Bloomberg News

Record year in Middle East for Ferrari

Ferrari sales have roared to a record high as Middle East customers snapped up 556 road cars last year.

Ferrari sales have roared to a record high as Middle East customers snapped up 556 cars last year.

While few may be able to afford the US$300,000 (Dh1.1 billion) price tag for a standard model, the famous Prancing Horse motif has galloped through its best annual sales in the company's 66-year history.

The manufacturer of the world's second most expensive car last year, the $2 million Ferrari 599XX, recorded an 8 per cent jump in revenues to 2.43bn (Dh11.81bn).

Sales of the luxury Italian cars were up 4.5 per cent in the Middle East as the company reported a 17.8 per cent increase in total net profits to 244m.

A total of 7,318 road cars were delivered to its dealership network last year up 4.5 per cent on 2011

Sales in the United States, its biggest market, grew by 14.8 per cent to break the 2,000 car mark for the first time. The United Kingdom, Switzerland, Germany and China also reported growth, but Italy, the home of the luxury car manufacturer, suffered a 46 per cent decrease in sales.

"We are all enormously proud of ending the year with these kinds of results despite the unfavourable economic backdrop in many European nations, and the distinctly hostile one in Italy," said Luca di Montezemolo, the chairman of Ferrari.

"The credit for this goes to the men and women in Ferrari, the strength of the brand, a very complete and highly innovative range and our gradual expansion into automotive markets worldwide."

The company invested 324.3m in research and development last year, up from 280m in 2011. The investment was self-financed.

Profit margins were helped with licensing, retail and e-commerce sales up 40 per cent last year. The company generated 7m from online sales of its branded goods, a rise of 31 per cent since 2011.

The Ferrari brand was recently voted the world's most powerful by Brand Finance, ahead of Google and Coca-Cola.

The luxury car market has enjoyed a boost in the region over the past year. Germany's Mercedes-Benz recorded a 16.7 per cent rise in sales in the Middle East and Levant last year, while Audi enjoyed a 16.4 per cent increase in sales in the region, helped by an influx of wealthy Arab expatriates to Dubai from Arab Spring countries.

"Ferrari has done pretty well. It is increasingly an emerging markets story, and the Middle East is part of that story. But the sales increase in the region is below that of players like BMW and Mercedes," said Richard Adams, director and senior consultant Acuity Middle East.

"There is strengthening in the underlying UAE economy, the premium automotive sector has reportedly had double digit growth of about 11 per cent [in the UAE].

"Safe haven flows have been coming in from the region's periphery and you have an associated movement of individuals from places like Egypt and parts of North Africa. If you're relatively affluent and new to the UAE you typically will buy a car and a house."

thamid@thenational.ae

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