Lippstadt, 25 May 2020.
The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic and the global reactions and impacts related to it have severe consequences for the global automotive industry. Especially customer demand, production volumes, supply chains and employment are significantly affected thereby. In order to successfully meet these challenges, HELLA GmbH & Co. KGaA, as one of the worldwide leading automotive suppliers, already initiated a comprehensive set of measures in mid-March 2020. This package includes inter alia a significant reduction of staff and material costs as well as already planned investments. At the same time, the company announced in mid-March that the massive economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be fully compensated despite the immediate initiation of these countermeasures, and thus, the original business objectives for the current fiscal year 2019/2020 will not be achieved.
Based on current information and circumstances, the company now specifies its outlook. For the fiscal year 2019/2020 (1 June 2019 to 31 May 2020), HELLA expects group sales in the range of approx. 5.7 to 5.8 billion Euro and an adjusted operating profit margin (adjusted EBIT margin) of approx. 4 percent.
In the fourth quarter of the fiscal year 2019/2020, HELLA will furthermore recognize non-cash impairments of approx. 500 million Euro. The expected impairments mainly result from the considerably reduced market volume due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the assumption that the worldwide production volume of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles will, also in the medium to long term, remain significantly below the planning assumptions and market expectations made prior to the Corona crisis and that this will result in a lower capacity utilisation of the global HELLA production network. The impairments will affect certain financial performance indicators such as the reported EBIT, the group net income attributable to shareholders and the equity ratio but will have no impact on the adjusted EBIT margin.
In view of the resulting net loss for the current fiscal year at group level and the negative market expectation, the management board of HELLA GmbH & Co. KGaA has decided to propose to the Annual General Meeting on 25 September 2020, despite the good liquidity situation, to suspend the dividend payment for the fiscal year 2019/2020.
At the occasion of publishing the outlook for the current fiscal year 2019/2020 with non-cash extraordinary impairments in the fourth quarter and the proposal to suspend dividend payments, an explanatory conference call will take place on 26 May 2020 at 09:00 a.m. (CET). The final results for the fiscal year 2019/2020 will be published in detail as planned on 14 August 2020.