Winterthur, Switzerland – Autoneum saw sales rise 6.3% in local currencies in the first half of 2015, and the earnings before taxation margin hit 7.7%, a record, the company said in a statement.
The company said sales reached CHF1.01bn ($1.05bn) in the first half of the year, compared to CHF 980m in the same period in 2014.
Adjusted earnings before interest and Tax – which ignore expenses related to a settlement with the German Cartel office – were CHF77.6m in the first half of 2015, compared with CHF66.8m in the same period in 2014.
Autoneum paid CFH 21.5m to the German cartel office in the first half of 2015. Cash flow from operating activities were down slightly at CHF18m compared with CHF20m in the first half of 2014, the firm said.
Autoneum said that it benefitted from strong demand for its acoustic and thermal management products despite a “stagnating” market environment.
This was because of “successful launches of large-volume car models in Europe and North America as well as the strategy-driven growth with international and Chinese OEMs in Asia.”
In Europe, Autoneum said it had reduced material cost and production waste through manufacturing improvements. In the US, Autoneum said it benefitted from high production volumes of newly launched models of US and German vehicle makers and low material costs.
Net sales in Asia grew 21.4% in local currencies compared with the first half of 2014, said the firm. This was due to vertical integration at Chinese plants and strong demand growth for vehicles produced by Chinese and international OEMs, said the firm. There is a strong order intake which is securing growth in the region, Autoneum said.
In South America, sales were down in the first half of 2015 compared with 2014 because of significant devaluations in Brazil and Argentina.
The Brazilian recession is hitting automotive sales, the firm said. There has been a “drastic” reduction in production volumes among light and commercial vehicle makers in Brazil and also Argentina, which depends on exports. Autoneum took a number of restructuring costs in both countries, which further hit performance, the company said.
The outlook is for continued sales growth in the second half of the year, and Autoneum is predicting a 4-5% increase in sales compared with the 2014.