Winterhur, Switzerland — Following growth in the automotive industry, Autoneum saw sales in Swiss francs rise by 3.2% to CHF 2.2 bn boosted by "a virtually maximum capacity utilisation in Europe, and lower raw material prices."
The company said these factors had a strong positive impact on the operating result in 2016.
Autoneum, which makes polyurethane components for acoustic and thermal management in vehicles, says that in 2016 approximately 93 m light vehicles were produced worldwide up 4.8% on the previous year.
Highlights were in Europe, North America and Asia where more vehicles were produced than in previous years. However South America remained affected by the economic crisis and production volumes fell in that region, Autoneum said. However thanks to "a good order situation and corresponding capacity utilisation," the firm says it was able to offset regional weakness in demand.
European business remained at its same level as 2015, the company said, while with a growth of 9% in local currencies, North America significantly outperformed the markets in 2016. This was driven by supplies to high-volume US and Japanese car models produced in North America.
In Asia sales growth was 20.2% in local currencies, again driven by higher volumes of US and Japanese vehicles and the increasing supply of local vehicle manufacturers in China.
In South America, the main business of an Autoneum business division which includes South America, Middle East and Africa, the ongoing recession has continued to hit demand for cars in 2016 with low production volumes for Autoneum's products. Although sales in the region grew 17.1% this is largely due to inflation-related price increases, the company said.