Lippstadt, 06 April 2017. HELLA KGaA Hueck & Co., a globally leading supplier of lighting technology and electronic products for the automotive industry, improved sales and earnings over the first nine months of this fiscal year 2016/2017 (1 June 2016 to 28 February 2017). Adjusted for negative exchange rate effects and effects from the sale of the Industries and Airport Lighting activities, sales over the period increased by 3.5%. Reported consolidated sales including these special effects grew by 2.6% to a total € 4.8 billion (prior year € 4.7 billion).
"As we had projected, our business growth accelerated substantially in the third quarter," says HELLA CEO Dr Rolf Breidenbach. Consolidated sales increased by 5.5% (adjusted for currency and portfolio effects by 5.7%) to € 1.6 billion. The group-wide sales growth was driven mainly by the momentum in the Automotive segment. "This positive development is in large part the result of numerous successful production ramp-ups for new client models."
Adjusted earnings before interest and taxes (adjusted EBIT) over the nine-month period grew by 8.1% to € 373 million (prior year: € 345 million). The adjusted EBIT margin increased year on year by 0.4 percentage points to 7.8%. Unadjusted for special effects, earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) improved by 20.2% to € 348 million (prior year: € 290 million), the EBIT margin rose by 1.1 percentage points to 7.3%.
In the third quarter, adjusted EBIT grew by 17.2% year on year to € 105 million (prior year: € 89 million). This corresponds to an EBIT margin of 6.6% (prior year: 6.0%). Taking special effects into account, EBIT rose to € 103 million in the third quarter (prior year: € 87 million), which equates to an EBIT margin of 6.5% (prior year: 5.8%).
Production ramp-ups drive growth momentum in the Automotive segment
External sales in the first nine months of fiscal year 2016/2017 grew by 2.4% to € 3.6 billion in the Automotive segment (prior year: € 3.5 billion). Growth in the Automotive segment was mainly driven by strong demand for innovative lighting solutions and electronics products, for instance in the area of energy management. Particularly in the third quarter, numerous production ramp-ups led to stronger growth momentum in the segment. The profitability of the Automotive segment increased significantly over the nine-month period with earnings before interest and taxes in the segment by 12.7% to € 314 million compared to the adjusted prior-year numbers (prior year: adjusted € 279 million). The EBIT margin improved accordingly to 8.6%.
Broad portfolio contributes to sales growth in the Aftermarket segment
External segment sales in the Aftermarket segment increased by 5.5% to € 923 million over the first nine months of the fiscal year (prior year: € 875 million). All businesses of the segment contributed to the sales growth. Earnings before interest and taxes grew by 4.5% to € 58 million (prior year: € 56 million) over the first nine months with the corresponding EBIT margin stable year on year at 6.1%.
Special Applications: Modest sales growth in the core business
External sales over the first nine months of this fiscal year declined by 4.6% to € 217 million in the Special Applications segment (prior year: € 228 million). Adjusted for the divested business activities Industries and Airport Lighting, however, sales of the remaining business activities increased slightly by 0.2% in the context of a still difficult market environment in the agricultural sector. Positive contributions come from the business for trailers. The segment‘s EBIT declined to € 2.3 million (prior year: € 11.8 million) over the first nine months of this fiscal year due to the wind-down of the divested business activities and the relocation of production capacity to Eastern Europe. This brings the EBIT margin to 1.0% (prior year: 5.1%).
Full-year sales and earnings guidance for fiscal year 2016/2017 confirmed
Nine months into fiscal year 2016/2017, HELLA Group remains confident that the business will continue to grow. HELLA continues to project exchange-rate and portfolio-adjusted sales growth, a rise in the adjusted EBIT in the mid-single-digit percentage range and an adjusted EBIT margin at the prior year level for fiscal year 2016/2017.
Dr Jürgen Behrend to retire on 30 September 2017
As announced, Dr Jürgen Behrend will retire as Managing General Partner of HELLA KGaA Hueck & Co. this year. Since a vote by the Annual General Meeting of HELLA KGaA Hueck & Co., which will be held this year on 28 September 2017, is legally required in this context, Dr Behrend will retire on 30 September 2017, i.e. immediately after the Annual General Meeting.
Selected financials (in € million or percent of sales respectively):
||Nine months 2016/2017
||Nine months 2015/2016
|Adjusted earnings before interest and taxes (adj. EBIT)
|Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT)
|Adjusted EBIT margin
Please note that where sums and percentages have been rounded, differences may arise as a result of commercial rounding.
The statement for the first nine months of fiscal year 2016/2017 is available for downloading as of today from the website of HELLA KGaA Hueck & Co.