Lippstadt, Germany, March 22, 2018.
In the first nine months of the current fiscal year 2017/2018 (June 1, 2017 to February 28, 2018), lighting and electronics specialist HELLA has continued its profitable growth in raising sales and earnings. The consolidated sales increased over the previous year by 9.3 percent after currency adjustments. Taking negative effects from exchange rates into consideration, reported sales improved by 7.4 percent to € 5.1 billion (prior year: € 4.8 billion). The adjusted earnings before interest and taxes (adjusted EBIT) increased by 9.5 percent to € 408 million (previous year: € 373 million); the adjusted EBIT margin thus increased to 8.0 percent (prior year: 7.8 percent). Taking into account special effects, the reported earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) improved by 16.0 percent to € 404 million (prior year: € 348 million), the reported EBIT margin is thus 7.9 percent (prior year: 7.3 percent).
"Our innovative product solutions allow us to serve the central market trends in the automotive industry. That is why we are currently enjoying stronger growth than the automotive market", said HELLA CEO Dr. Rolf Breidenbach. "In order to continue our profitable growth path and to strengthen our leading market position, we are making targeted investments in our international network and in the development of advanced technologies."
Automotive segment contributes to Group-wide sales growth
Reported Automotive segment sales increased by 8.2 percent to € 3.9 billion (prior year: € 3.6 billion) supported by a high number of new production rollouts and high demand for innovative lighting and electronics solutions. In conjunction with ongoing capacity expansions, the construction of new plants as well as investments in future technology, the adjusted EBIT for the segment has increased by 4.4 percent to € 328 million (prior year: € 314 million). The adjusted EBIT margin was thus 8.3 percent (prior year: 8.6 percent). The reported EBIT for the segment increased by 4.0 percent to € 327 million (prior year: € 314 million); the reported EBIT margin was 8.3 percent (previous year: 8.6 percent).
Aftermarket significantly improves profitability
In the Aftermarket segment, sales with external customers increased by 3.9 percent to € 897 million (prior year: € 864 million) in the first nine months of the current fiscal year. Good business development in the independent aftermarket, in business with complex workshop equipment and in wholesale distribution supported the sales growth. In addition, the profitability of the Aftermarket segment saw notable improvement. The segment's EBIT increased by 9.3 percent to € 57 million (prior year: € 52 million) and the EBIT margin rose to 6.3 percent (prior year: 5.8 percent).
Special Applications segment boasts a substantial increase in sales and earnings
The Special Applications segment continued along its growth path in sales and earnings. Total segments sales increased by 13.4 percent to € 314 million (prior year: € 277 million) due to high demand for product solutions for agricultural and construction vehicles, among other things. Segment earnings also improved in this period. The EBIT increased significantly by € 23 million to € 32 million, while the EBIT margin increased to 10.2 percent (prior year: 3.1 percent).
Positive company outlook confirmed for the entire year
After the first nine months of the current fiscal year, HELLA confirms the positive corporate outlook for the entire fiscal year 2017/2018 (June 1, 2017 to May 31, 2018). The company is forecasting currency-adjusted sales growth and an increase in the adjusted EBIT of 5 to 10 percent over the prior 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 for the first nine months (June 1 to February 28):