Autoneum increased its net sales in local currencies by 6.8% in 2016 despite a strong previous year and cyclically weak regional demand. Net sales in Swiss francs rose by 3.2% to CHF 2‘152.6 million. Continuous efficiency enhancements in production, virtually maximum capacity utilization in Europe and low raw material prices had a positive impact on the operating result in 2016.
Following the weak growth of the previous year, the automobile industry picked up again in 2016. With 93.0 million light vehicles produced worldwide and growth of 4.8%, an upward trend was recorded, albeit with an intensity that varied strongly from region to region. While in Europe, North America and Asia more vehicles were produced than in the previous year, automobile manufacturers and suppliers in South America remained affected by the prevailing economic crisis that led to falling production volumes in this region. However, thanks to a good order situation and corresponding utilization of production capacities, Autoneum was able to offset regional weaknesses in demand and thus increase its net sales in local currencies by 6.8% year on year in 2016. Net sales in Swiss francs rose by 3.2% from CHF 2‘085.9 million to CHF 2‘152.6 million.
Sales growth well above the market in almost all regions
All four Business Groups increased sales in local currencies in 2016. With a rise in net sales in local currencies of 0.8% following a previous year characterized by several ramp-ups and strong growth, Business Group Europe remained at its prior-year level. With growth of 9.0% in local currencies, Business Group North America significantly outperformed the market dynamics of this region in 2016. As in the previous year, supplies for high-volume US-American and Japanese car models were the decisive factor behind the growth. The loss of sales due to the disposal of the UGN business in Chicago Heights (Illinois), USA in early 2016 was more than offset by the higher year-on-year production volumes mainly achieved by a higher market share. The significant sales growth in local currencies of 20.2% at Business Group Asia once again reflected the efficient use of existing market potential. High production volumes for vehicles of US-American and Japanese customers as well as the increasing supply of local vehicle manufacturers in China were the decisive factors behind the growth. In South America, the main market of Business Group SAMEA (South America, Middle East and Africa), the ongoing recession has continued to impair demand for cars in 2016, thereby resulting in correspondingly low production volumes. Largely due to inflation-related price increases, net sales of Business Group SAMEA rose by 17.1% in local currencies.
Operating result significantly improved
Thanks to continuous efficiency enhancements in production, virtually maximum capacity utilization in Europe and low raw material prices, Autoneum once again increased its operating result in 2016. The operating margin before special effects will exceed that of the previous year. A special effect in the amount of CHF 31.5 million resulting from the agreement with the German Federal Cartel Office impaired both the operating result and net profit in 2015, while in 2016 the gain from disposal of the UGN business in Chicago Heights (Illinois), USA exerted a positive effect of around CHF 33 million on the operating result and around CHF 21 million on net profit.
The 2016 sales presentation can be found at www.autoneum.com/media/press-kits/2016/. The year-end financial statements and the 2016 annual report will be published at the Media and Financial Analysts Conference on March 2, 2017 in Winterthur, Switzerland.