Winterthur, Switzerland — Autoneum managed to maintain its profitability in 2017, despite a difficult US market and rising material prices.
The automotive seating company said its EBITDA margin was 11.6% in 2017. This was equivalent to CHF 256 m. These earnings were achieved because of ‘nearly maximum capacity utilisation in Europe’. An improvement in the performance of its South America, Middle East, Africa business group also helped.
Autoneum made investments in 2017, and plans to continue this in 2018 with four new plants set to go into operation in China.
The company says that it has been making carpet systems, inner dashes and wheelhouse outer liners continuously for US and Chinese carmakers in Yantai, Shandong and Changsha, Hunan, China.
Autoneum built a factory in Komarom, Hungary, because of increased demand for lightweight and multifunctional acoustic and thermal management components. This is scheduled to open in May.
Business in Europe grew by 4.7% in local currencies in 2017, while revenue reached CHF 888.7m. This compares with CHF 833.4 m in 2016. High capacity utilisation gave high coverage of fixed costs, and improved processes and greater vertical integration helped them to achieve this, Autoneum said.
The US car market slumped, and revenue fell by 4.6%. There was a decline in revenue to CHF 966.3m in 2017. This compares with CHF 1.02 bn in 2016. Earnings before interest in the region fell from 85.9m in 2016 to CHF 63.2m in 2017.
In Asia, strong demand from Japanese, European and US customers helped Autoneum’s division to grow sales in the region by 12% in Swiss Francs to CHF 235.9m. In 2016, the company Asian sales were CHF210.7m.
The South America, Middle East, Africa division’s sales grew 22 % to CHF 114m in 2017. This compares with CHF 93.5m in 2016.
Higher production in Brazil and Argentina and high volume export growth from Turkey and South Africa helped grow the business.