Lippstadt, 24 July 2019.
On the basis of preliminary figures, the globally positioned automotive supplier HELLA has closed the fiscal year 2018/2019 (1 June 2018 to 31 May 2019) with a sales and earnings increase. The currency- and portfolio-adjusted consolidated sales increased by 5.0 percent compared to previous year. In light of the disposal of the wholesale distribution business and taking exchange rate effects into account, reported sales reduced to € 7.0 billion (previous year: € 7.1 billion).
Based on preliminary figures, the earnings before interest and taxes adjusted for restructuring measures and portfolio effects (adjusted EBIT) improved by 5.9 percent to € 585 million (previous year: € 552 million). This corresponds to an adjusted EBIT margin of 8.4 percent (previous year: 8.3 percent). The reported earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rose to € 808 million (previous year: € 574 million) primarily due to the extraordinary gains from the successful sale of the wholesale business. Therefore, the reported EBIT margin is 11.6 percent (previous year: 8.1 percent).
"We have faced a demanding fiscal year that was marked by major uncertainties in the overall automotive sector", said HELLA CEO Dr. Rolf Breidenbach. "Although we have largely compensated for these challenges in the past fiscal year and achieved our targets, we were confronted with a sharp slowdown in growth momentum, particularly in the second half of the fiscal year, as well."
Continuation of established dividend policy; additional payout of special dividend planned
The management of HELLA GmbH & Co. KGaA will propose to the annual general meeting on 27 September 2019 to pay out a special dividend of € 2.30 per share in addition to a regular dividend of € 1.05 per share (previous year: € 1.05). The special dividend is based on a strong balance sheet performance over the past years and the sale of the wholesale distribution business. The amount of the dividend approximately corresponds to the accounting profit of € 255 million that HELLA has realized by disposing the wholesale distribution business or around two thirds of the cash proceeds of this transaction. The total dividend would therefore be at € 3.35 per share for the fiscal year 2018/2019.
"With this proposal, we continue our dividend policy that we have established in the previous years, while at the same time we want to involve our shareholders in the successful disposal of our wholesale business", said HELLA CFO Bernard Schäferbarthold. "Also after paying out this special dividend, HELLA will continue to have a solid and strong financial basis in order to consistently invest in future technologies as well as further profitable growth."
Outlook for fiscal year 2019/2020 reflects high uncertainties in the market environment and therefore decreasing sector development
"Especially due to our strategic alignment along the major automotive market trends such as autonomous driving and electromobility, we assume that HELLA will still grow stronger than the market in the future", says Dr. Rolf Breidenbach. "However, the company will not be able to completely withdraw from the general sector development. The markets will continue to decline and to be characterised by a high degree of uncertainties. At the same time, we will still invest significantly in research and development and anticipate further increasing material and labor costs."
Against this background, HELLA expects currency- and portfolio-adjusted sales in the range from € 6.5 billion to € 7.0 billion (previous year portfolio-adjusted: around € 6.8 billion) for the current fiscal year 2019/2020 as well as an EBIT margin adjusted for restructuring measures and portfolio effects in the range from 6.5 to 7.5 percent (previous year portfolio-adjusted: 8.4 percent).
At the occasion of publishing the preliminary figures and the dividend proposal for the past fiscal year 2018/2019 as well as the outlook for the current fiscal year 2019/2020, a conference call will take place on 25 July 2019 at 09:00 AM (CET). As originally announced, the final results for the fiscal year 2018/2019 will be published in detail on 9 August 2019.