Amberg, Germany - Automotive interiors and seat supplier Grammer AG saw its revenue in the first nine months of 2011 increase by 19.7 percent to Euro 810.4 million ($1082 million). Grammer's earnings (EBIT) rose 56.5 percent to Euro 36.0 million, while net profit after tax was Euro 15.8 million -- 77.5 percent higher than the prior-year period, said Grammer.
As in the earlier quarters, Grammer's Q3 performance was driven by good development in all segments of the vehicle industry worldwide, said the maker of seats for commercial vehicles. Group revenue in Q3 beat the already strong prior-year quarter by 17.4 percent, at Euro 272.9 million, and EBIT improved to Euro 10.2 million.
But the German supplier commented that, "Despite full order books and higher revenue, the closing of the Immenstetten plant, near Amberg in Germany, along with launches of new major projects and unfavourable exchange rate developments, prevented an even better third-quarter result."
Grammer's automotive division generated 14.5 percent (Euro 64.2 million), more revenue in the first nine months of 2011 than in the same period last year, at Euro 508.1 million. In Q3, revenue continued to increase, with total revenue at Euro 167.1 million, an increase of 13.1 percent.
Grammer sees this as a result of the good performance of automotive markets in Europe and the US, which led to strong sales especially for upper mid-size and premium vehicles, and the company also benefited from an "ongoing boom in export markets."
Strong growth in its seat systems division persisted in Q3, said Grammer, with revenue growth of 25.1 percent to Euro 112.0 million. Earlier cost and capacity rationalisation in this segment is paying off, so that operating profit doubled in the nine month to Euro 24.2 million. Earnings growth in Q3 was also impressive, the company said. reaching Euro 7.7 million, despite the launch of major projects.
Strong growth in demand for offroad vehicles in Europe, overseas and Asia and stable sales in Brazil's truck market were major contributors to this development.
Grammer invested Euro 24.6 million in the first nine months of 2011, primarily in seating systems division to set up suspended seat production.
The company's employment roster now stands at 8644, a 9.4-percent increase y-o-y, as a result of good orders, Grammer commented.
For full-year 2011, Grammer's board expects revenue growth of more than 10 percent to more than Euro 1000 million and an EBIT margin of roughly 4.4 percent.
The company cautioned, however that developments in commodity and foreign exchange markets, as well as an order situation with short lead times and volatility "represent serious risk factors, which bear close monitoring to allow rapid reaction