Detroit, Michigan — Adient, a global automotive seating giant, grew adjusted EBITDA across the business by 69% in the first quarter of 2020.
While that number hit $297m in the quarter sales of $3.96 bn in the first quarter were lower by 5% than the same period in 2019.
The significant improvement in EBITDA in the quarter was generated by a several eye-catching savings. These included an 85% reduction in freight costs, in the Americas and the EMEA regions. Waste was down by 35% in the Americas and 27% in Europe, compared with the same period in 2019. The company is also walking away from unprofitable production programmes.
It has also managed to squeeze $38m out of its seat structures and mechanisms plants. This was added to adjusted EBITDA. A further $14m/quarter will continue to into the future, said the firm.
The company's seating business sales rose by 3% between the first quarter of 2019 and 2020. They were $2.26bn in the first quarter of 2020. This compares with $2.2bn in the 2019 period.
At the same time, adjusted segment earnings in the division declined by 9%. It hit $247.2m in the first quarter of 2020. This compares with $271.3m the 2019 period.
Aident also simplified its structure in the quarter by exiting a joint venture with Yanfeng and selling the rights to use Recaro in automotive seating.