Autoneum increased its net sales in local currencies and adjusted for divestments in 2014 by 1.9%. Due to the loss of sales from the sold Italian subsidiary and the ongoing devaluation of various currencies, net sales in Swiss francs decreased from 2’053.3 million CHF to 1’954.7 million CHF. Thanks particularly to the capacity adjustments finalized in 2014 and the improved utilization of the plants in Europe resulting from this, the operating margin in the second half of the year reached that of the first six months. According to the preliminary results a significant rise in net profit is to be expected.
Global light vehicle production displayed mixed performance in 2014: While production in Europe, North America and Asia grew, the volume of production in the SAMEA market region (South America, Middle East, Africa and Russia) fell significantly on the previous year. Altogether global automobile production rose slightly by 2.8% to 87.2 million light vehicles. At 1.9%, Autoneum increased its net sales in local currencies as expected. Due to the loss of sales from the former Italian subsidiary and the ongoing devaluation of various currencies, sales in Swiss francs decreased from 2’053.3 million CHF to 1’954.7 million CHF.
Sales growth in almost all regions
Compared with the previous year, three of the four Business Groups increased sales in local currencies. The selective acceptance of orders in Europe in line with the strategy led to sales volumes that only just matched those of the previous year. Lower production volumes and key customers’ model changes were responsible for the only modest growth in sales in North America. In Asia, Autoneum once again achieved significant sales growth in local currencies and well exceeded market growth due to a rise in production volumes among global customers. Despite the slump in the market in Brazil and Argentina, sales in the SAMEA market region were up.
Significant rise in net profit
Above all thanks to the capacity adjustments finalized in 2014 and the improved utilization of the plants in Europe resulting from this, the operating margin in the second half of 2014 reached the level of the first six months of the year. In view of the improved operating result and the successful restructuring of subsidiaries resulting in the recognition of tax loss carryforwards and a reduced tax ratio, Autoneum expects a significant rise in net profit based on the preliminary results.
Change to the Group Executive Board
On January 14, 2015, the Board of Directors of Autoneum Holding Ltd. appointed John T. Lenga as Head of Business Group North America and member of the Group Executive Board. John T. Lenga, who has been responsible as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Business Group North America since 2007, will take over the management of the Business Group from Richard Derr on March 1, 2015. Richard Derr, who has headed Business Group North America since the going public of Autoneum in May 2011, is to retire at the end of February 2015. He was already responsible for Business Group North America from 2004 until 2011 in his capacity as member of the Executive Committee of the Automotive Systems division of Rieter Holding Ltd. The Board of Directors and CEO Martin Hirzel thank Richard Derr for his major contribution and high level of commitment to the advancement of Business Group North America and wish him all the best for this new stage in his life.