Lippstadt, September 27, 2017.
HELLA KGaA Hueck & Co., one of the world's leading automotive suppliers for lighting and electronics, has started the fiscal year 2017/2018 with an increase in sales and earnings. The consolidated sales for the first quarter (June 1 to August 31, 2017) increased over the previous year by 5.8 percent after currency adjustments. Taking negative exchange rate effects into account, sales improved by 4.9 percent to € 1.6 billion. Adjusted earnings before interest and taxes (adjusted EBIT) increased by 5.6 percent to € 125 million (previous year: € 118 million); the adjusted EBIT margin thus increased to 7.7 percent (previous year 7.6 percent). "HELLA has had a good start to the new fiscal year. We have enjoyed stronger growth than the global automotive market", said HELLA CEO Dr. Rolf Breidenbach. "Along with our global positioning, our innovative product solutions for automotive market trends such as autonomous driving, energy efficiency and electrification in particular have been a key factor in this growth."
Automotive segment supports company-wide sales increase
The Automotive segment has continued its growth dynamic into the first three months of the current fiscal year. The reported sales for the segment has increased by 5.9 percent against the same quarter of the previous year to € 1.2 billion. This growth has, in particular, been supported by a positive business development in important core markets, as well as the demand for sophisticated lighting systems and electronics products, especially in the areas of radar sensors and energy management. As a result of capacity increases, the construction of new plants as well as R&D expenses in further profitable growth to support automotive trends, the adjusted first-quarter EBIT for the segment has reduced to € 91 million (previous year: € 98 million). The adjusted EBIT margin is thus 7.3 percent (previous year: 8.3 percent).
Aftermarket: Sales growth in third-party business of 2.0 percent
In the Aftermarket segment, sales with third-party companies have increased by 2.0 percent in the first three months of the current fiscal year. The entire segment, in particular as a result of the internal reorganization of production companies has, however, dropped slightly in terms of sales by 1.6 percent to € 302 million (previous year: € 307 million). The positive development has been driven above all by the independent aftermarket and the wholesale business. The earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) for the segment have increased in the reporting period by 2.1 percent to € 19 million, which equates to an EBIT margin of 6.4 percent (previous year: 6.2 percent).
Special Applications significantly increases sales and earnings
Reported sales in the Special Applications segment increased by 12.3 percent to € 100 million in the first three months of the current fiscal year (previous year: € 89 million). This increase in sales is, in particular, thanks to the internal realignment of production companies, and a strong business development in the areas of construction- and agricultural machinery as well as trailers. At the same time, the earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) increased to € 16 million in the reporting period (previous year: € 3 million). The EBIT margin is thus 16.1 percent (previous year: 2.9 percent). This jump in results has been caused on the one hand by disproportionately high customer call-offs at the Australia location and, on the other hand, negative influences on the figures of the previous year due to the divestment of the Industries and Airport Lighting business activities.
Positive company outlook confirmed after three months
The HELLA Group has confirmed its positive company outlook after the first three months of the current fiscal year. A currency-adjusted sales growth and an increase in the adjusted EBIT of between 5 and 10 percent is expected for the 2017/2018 fiscal year in comparison with the previous fiscal year. The forecast for the adjusted EBIT margin continues to be at approximately 8 percent for this period.
Selected key financial indicators (in € million or as a percentage of sales):