Lippstadt, 24 July 2023.
HELLA, the automotive supplier operating under the FORVIA umbrella brand, accelerated its sales growth and significantly increased profitability in the first half of the fiscal year 2023 (1 January to 30 June 2023). Sales increased by 17.3 percent year-on-year to €4.0 billion (H1 calendar year 2022: €3.4 billion1); after adjustments for currency effects, sales amounted to €4.1 billion outperforming the global light vehicle production by 6 percentage points, which grew by an estimated 11 percent over the same period.
Profitability also strongly improved: Operating income increased to €245 million in the first half of 2023 (H1 calendar year 2022: €139 million), an improvement of 76.2 percent in value. The operating income margin thus increased to 6.1 percent (H1 calendar year 2022: 4.1 percent). Net cash flow to sales ratio also increased to 2.2 percent (H1 calendar year 2022: -0.2 percent).
"We had a very successful first half of the year: Our sales strongly developed and again outperformed the automotive production. After a low prior-year figure due to inflation and the pandemic, we have significantly improved profitability. On the one hand, we were benefiting from higher business volumes and, on the other, we were able to successfully manage price increases and pass them to our customers," says HELLA CEO Michel Favre.
"With regard to our further business development, it is crucial that we continued to acquire significant high-volume customer projects with high technology content in the first half of the year. These included, for example, an extensive international headlamp business, as well as orders for 77 GHz radar sensors and battery electronics. Without the outstanding commitment of our employees these successes would not be possible. I would therefore like to thank the teams around the world for their excellent work."
Lighting business outperforms global automotive production by 12 percentage points
In the first half of the fiscal year 2023, the Business Group Lighting increased sales by 22.9 percent to €2.0 billion (H1 calendar year 2022: €1.6 billion); the Lighting business was thus growing twice as much as the global light vehicle production. The growth mainly results from higher production volumes of current series productions in all regions and ramp-ups for new vehicle models. In addition, the Business Group Lighting achieved a breakthrough in terms of profitability, with the operating income increasing to €64 million (H1 calendar year 2022: €-3 million), and an operating income margin of 3.3 percent (H1 calendar year 2022: -0.2 percent).
High demand for solutions for automated driving and electromobility
Sales of the Electronics Business Group increased by 13.8 percent year-on-year to €1.7 billion (H1 calendar year 2022: €1.5 billion). Main drivers were the high demand for products for automated driving and electromobility, for example radar sensors and high-voltage battery management systems. Operating income increased to €109 million (H1 calendar year 2022: €87 million). This corresponds to an operating income margin of 6.5 percent (H1 calendar year 2022: 5.9 percent).
Strong development in spare parts, workshop, and commercial vehicle business
Compared to the first half of the calendar year 2022, the Business Group Lifecycle Solutions improved sales by 10.0 percent to €551 million (H1 calendar year 2022: €501 million). Drivers were firstly a strong spare parts business, among others in Poland, Mexico, and Brazil; secondly, new product launches of Hella Gutmann Solutions in the workshop sector and, thirdly, a very solid development of the agricultural and construction machinery, trucks, and buses business. Operating income improved to €74 million (H1 calendar year 2022: €58 million), the operating income margin increased to 13.5 percent (H1 calendar year 2022: 11.6 percent).
Company outlook for the fiscal year 2023 confirmed
"We are currently on track to achieve our annual targets and confirm our corporate outlook. In a persistently volatile market environment that continues to be characterised by inflationary pressure, we now have more visibility regarding the further market development and assume a global market volume of around 86 million vehicles in 2023," says HELLA CEO Michel Favre.
For the full fiscal year (1 January to 31 December 2023), HELLA still expects to generate currency and portfolio-adjusted Group sales of around €8.0 to 8.5 billion. The forecast for the operating income margin remains at around 5.5 to 7.0 percent. Both the adjusted sales and the operating income margin are expected to be around the midpoint of the respective forecast range. In relation to sales, the Company still forecasts a net cash flow of approximately 2 percent.
Selected key financial figures in € millions or percent of sales (each 1 January to 30 June):