Lippstadt, 11 January 2018.
HELLA GmbH & Co. KGaA, one of the leading global automotive suppliers of lighting and electronics, closed out the first half of the current fiscal year 2017/2018 (1 June to 30 November 2017) with a substantial increase in sales and improved profitability. The consolidated sales for the first half of the fiscal year increased over the previous year by 9.3 percent after currency adjustments. Taking negative exchange rates into consideration, reported sales improved by 8.0 percent to € 3.5 billion (previous year: € 3.2 billion). The adjusted earnings before interest and taxes (adjusted EBIT) increased by 9.3 percent to € 293 million (previous year: € 268 million); the adjusted EBIT margin thus increased to 8.5 percent (previous year: 8.4 percent). Taking special effects into account, reported earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rose by 18.1 percent to € 290 million (prior year: € 245 million). The reported EBIT margin is therefore 8.4 percent (previous year: 7.7 percent).
"The substantial increase in our Group-wide sales in the first half of the fiscal year once again shows that, thanks to our innovative, sophisticated product solutions, we have positioned ourselves strategically well with respect to key automotive market trends," said HELLA CEO Dr. Rolf Breidenbach. "We also benefited from excellent business development in the second quarter."
Long-term expansion of the international HELLA network
In the current fiscal year, HELLA is investing in the long-term expansion of the international production and development network. To this end, HELLA is currently building new electronics plants in India, Mexico and Lithuania and is further expanding the existing production site in Shanghai. In the lighting business division, HELLA recently put a new plant of the joint venture Beijing HELLA BHAP Automotive Lighting into operation. This plant is located near the metropolitan area of Tianjin. Investments are also being made in Germany. At the company headquarters in the Westphalian town of Lippstadt, HELLA is building a new administrative, visitor and exhibition center and is working with other partners to open a Digital Innovation Campus.
A substantial increase in sales in the Automotive segment is contributing to Group-wide growth
The Group-wide increase in sales in the first half of the fiscal year was supported primarily by the Automotive segment. Due to numerous production ramp-ups and strong demand for innovative lighting and electronics solutions, reported segment sales increased by 9.1 percent over the previous year to € 2.7 billion (previous year: € 2.4 billion). In the first half of the fiscal year, the adjusted EBIT for the Automotive segment increased by 4.5 percent to € 238 million (previous year: € 227 million); as a result, the adjusted EBIT margin was 9.0 percent (previous year: 9.4 percent). Reported earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of the segment in the half year increase by 4.0 percent to € 236 million (prior year: € 227 million). The EBIT margin is therefore 8.9 percent (previous year: 9.4 percent).
Positive business development in independent aftermarket and wholesale distribution
In the first half of the fiscal year, sales in the third-party aftermarket segment increased by 3.6 percent. Sales growth was driven largely by the good business development in the independent aftermarket and wholesale distribution segments. In terms of total sales, the reported segment sales value of € 611 million is slightly above the previous year's sales (previous year: € 610 million). In terms of the earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT), in the first half of the fiscal year, the aftermarket segment achieved the sales of the previous year (€ 37 million). As was the case in the previous year, the reported EBIT margin was 6.1 percent.
Special Applications segment boasts a substantial increase in sales and result
In the first six months of the current fiscal year, the Special Applications segment achieved a substantial sales and result increase. Total segments sales increased by 13.0 percent to € 211 million (previous year: € 187 million) due to high demand for product solutions for agricultural and construction vehicles. In the first half of the fiscal year, the reported EBIT of the segment improved substantially, increasing to € 24 million (previous year: € 5 million); as a result, the EBIT margin increased to 11.2 percent (previous year: 2.6 percent).
Positive company outlook confirmed for the fiscal year 2017/2018
HELLA confirms a positive company outlook for the entire year. "We expect to continue to experience stronger growth than the automotive market as a whole during this current fiscal year due to our good strategic positioning," said Dr. Rolf Breidenbach. For fiscal year 2017/2018 (1 June 2017 to 31 May 2018), HELLA is forecasting currency-adjusted sales growth and an increase in the adjusted EBIT of 5 to 10 percent over the previous year. The forecast value for the adjusted EBIT margin continues to be approximately 8 percent for this period.
Selected key financial indicators (in € million or as a percentage of sales):