Hella started the 2018/2019 financial year with a strong increase in sales and earnings, thus continuing its successful business development. Currency-adjusted group sales rose by 10.3 percent in the first quarter (June 1 to August 31, 2018), while reported sales rose by 9.7 percent to EUR 1.8 billion (previous year: EUR 1.6 billion).
At the same time, adjusted operating profit (adjusted EBIT) increased by twelve percent to 140 million euros (previous year: 125 million euros), the adjusted EBIT margin was 7.8 percent (previous year: 7.7 percent). Taking special items into account, the reported operating result (EBIT) rose by 12.5 percent to EUR 139 million (previous year: EUR 123 million), so the reported EBIT margin is also 7.8 percent (previous year: 7.6 percent). “In terms of sales and earnings, we can look back on a strong first quarter. Not least because of our technology leadership and our attractive product portfolio, we once again grew faster than the market, ”said Dr. Rolf Breidenbach, Chairman of the Hella Management Board. “Even if market uncertainties increase, we see ourselves on the right path to achieving our annual targets.”
Aftermarket with a strong workshop and spare parts business
In the aftermarket segment, reported sales rose by 6.8 percent to 174 million euros (previous year: 163 million euros) without taking into account the wholesale business activities. The increase in sales results primarily from a high demand for workshop products and a positive development in the free spare parts business. In addition, the segment’s adjusted EBIT improved by 9.3 percent to EUR 15 million (previous year: EUR 13 million), the adjusted EBIT margin in the first quarter was 8.4 percent (previous year: 8.2 percent).
Special Applications sales at previous year’s level
Reported sales in the Special Applications segment after the first three months were around EUR 100 million and thus at the previous year’s level. Business in the agricultural and construction machinery sector developed particularly positively in the first quarter, whereas the closure of the Australian production site had a negative impact on sales. The segment’s reported EBIT declined to EUR 13 million in the first quarter (previous year: EUR 16 million) due to positive one-off effects in the previous year. As a result, the EBIT margin decreased to 12.8 percent (previous year: 16.1 percent).
Positive company outlook confirmed after the first quarter
After the first three months, Hella confirmed the positive company outlook for the current 2018/2019 financial year (June 1, 2018 to May 31, 2019). “We are in a demanding, very dynamic industry environment. As a result, the overall uncertainties for the automotive industry continue to increase, ”said Dr. Rolf Breidenbach. “Nevertheless, due to our good strategic positioning, we are confirming our forecast for the current financial year.” Hella continues to expect an increase in currency and portfolio-adjusted sales and adjusted EBIT of five to ten percent compared to the previous year and expects an adjusted one EBIT margin roughly on previous year’s level.