10 aug. 2017 / HELLA KGaA Hueck & Company, one of the world’s leading automotive suppliers for lighting and electronics, successfully continued its profitable growth path in the fiscal year 2016/2017 (1 June 2016 to 31 May 2017), and further improved its sales and earnings before interest and taxes.
Currency and portfolio-adjusted sales growth was 4.3 percent, which equates to reported growth of 3.7 percent to € 6.6 billion (prior year: € 6.4 billion). HELLA significantly improved its profitability at the same time. Adjusted earnings before interest and taxes (adjusted EBIT) climbed by 12.0 percent compared to the prior year to € 534 million (prior year: € 476 million), while the adjusted EBIT margin rose by 0.6 percentage points to 8.1 percent. Reported earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rose by 20.8 percent to € 507 million (prior year: € 420 million). The EBIT margin is therefore 7.7 percent, after 6.6 percent in the prior year.
“We follow a strategy of profitable growth, which we continued to consistently pursue in the past fiscal year”, Dr. Rolf Breidenbach, President and CEO of HELLA, commented. “In light of our strategic position as one of the technology leaders along central industry trends such as autonomous driving, energy efficiency and electrification, connectivity and digitalisation, as well as individualisation, we are well-positioned to continue our profitable growth path in the years ahead too.”
Automotive segment drives growth in the second half of the fiscal year
The pickup in growth momentum in the Automotive segment in the second half-year contributed significantly to the increase in consolidated sales in the fiscal year 2016/2017. Segment sales improved by 3.8 percent year-on-year to € 5.0 billion (prior year: € 4.8 billion), supported in particular by the strong demand for innovative lighting solutions and electronic products, for example in the areas of radar technology and energy management. Adjusted earnings before interest and taxes (adjusted EBIT) of the segment improved by 13.8 percent over the prior year’s figure to € 444 million (prior year: € 390 million). The adjusted EBIT margin, which is based on the segment sales, is therefore 8.8 percent after 8.1 percent the year before.
Broad positioning of the aftermarket segment contributes to the sales growth
Sales generated in the Aftermarket segment in the fiscal year 2016/2017 rose by 3.7 percent compared with the prior year to € 1.2 billion (prior year: € 1.2 billion). During the reporting period, every business field within the segment contributed to the sales growth. The segment’s earnings before interest and taxes declined by 5.0 percent year-on-year to € 73 million (prior year: € 77 million), due to a higher share of purchased parts and expansion of business activities in wholesale and e-commerce. The EBIT margin is 6.0 percent (prior year: 6.5 percent). No adjustments have been made in the Aftermarket segment.
Special applications reports robust sales development in core business
Sales in the Special Applications segment increased by 0.3 percent in the fiscal year 2016/2017 to € 385 million (prior year: € 384 million). The core business of the segment, among other things the business with accessories for trailers and caravans, performed well, resulting in robust 5.2 percent sales growth in the segment’s core business in a difficult market environment in the agricultural sector. The segment’s earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) improved year-on-year from € 8 million to € 20 million. Also, in the Special Applications segment no adjustments have been made.
Management board proposes dividend of € 0.92 per share
Earnings for the period in the fiscal year 2016/2017 amounted to € 343 million (prior year: € 272 million). On this basis, the Management Board will propose to the Annual General Meeting on 28 September 2017 that a dividend of € 0.92 per share be distributed (prior year: € 0.77 per share). This represents an increase of 19.5 percent in the distribution amount to a total sum of € 102 million (prior year: € 86 million).
Positive company outlook for the fiscal year 2017/2018
For the current fiscal year 2017/2018 (1 June 2017 to 31 May 2018), HELLA is confident the profitable growth path will remain intact and expects currency-adjusted sales growth as well as an increase in adjusted EBIT of 5 to 10 percent, compared with the past fiscal year. It is targeting an adjusted EBIT margin of around 8 percent.