Winterthur, Switzerland - Automotive acoustics group Autoneum, the former Rieter automotive business, saw its sales in local currencies rose 15 percent in 2011, outperforming the 2.9 percent growth in global automobile production, while sales in Swiss francs grew only by 0.4 percent to CHF1722.4 million.
Despite many adverse impacts, Autoneum said it expects a small improvement of the earnings (EBIT) margin for 2011 compared with prior year and a slightly positive net result - as already announced last summer. Furthermore, the Autoneum board will be strengthened on 1 March 2012.
Net sales in million CHF by region were: Europe 888.0 (+9.6% in local currencies); North America 571.3 (+23.7%);Asia 91.8 (+36.1%) and South America, the Middle East and Africa (SAMEA) 140.6 (+10.3%).
Autoneum saw strong local growth in all regions in 2011, but seasonal effects and continued decline of the Euro and US dollar against the Swiss franc, meant its sales for the second half of 2011 were lower than in the first six months as expected.
Worldwide vehicle production in all major economic regions except Japan increased by 2.9 percent to 76.6 million units during the year.
Autoneum said its sales growth was "particularly strong in North America and Asia despite setbacks due to the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, flooding of the biggest US Autoneum plant, and the flood disaster in Thailand."
On 2 Feb 2012 the board appointed Volker Eimertenbrink head of the Business Group South America, Middle East, Africa (SAMEA). He takes over as planned from ceo Martin Hirzel, who also headed Business Group SAMEA as an interim measure after Autoneum went public.