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ElringKlinger records successful start to 2017
Revenue up by 12.5% in first quarter; organic growth of 10.9%
EBIT margin before purchase price allocation rises to 9.0%; EBIT before purchase price
allocation increases by 22% to EUR 39.1 million
Cash flow includes payments for acquisition of equity stake in hofer Group
Guidance for 2017 confirmed
Maintaining its solid momentum from the final quarter of 2016, ElringKlinger AG recorded a significant increase in sales in the first quarter of 2017. Compared with the first quarter of 2016, the Group managed to lift sales revenue by 12.5% or EUR 48.1 million, taking the figure to EUR 433.3 (385.2) million. Chief Executive Officer Dr. Stefan Wolf said: "ElringKlinger made significant ground in all segments and regions during the first quarter. In addition to benefiting from a larger number of working days, we received fresh impetus from the positive direction taken by the global automotive markets and from the introduction of several new products. Based on this quarterly performance, we are well on track when it comes to meeting our growth targets."
The Group's organic revenue growth of EUR 41.9 million or 10.9% was complemented by positive currency effects – primarily with regard to the Brazilian real, the Swiss franc, and the US dollar – equivalent to EUR 2.9 million or 0.7% as well as revenue contributions relating to changes to the scope of consolidation compared to the first quarter of 2016. Acquired entities added EUR 3.3 million, i.e., +0.9%, to revenue in total; hofer powertrain products GmbH (hpp), included as of February 6, 2017, for the first time, was among the contributors.
The significant increase in revenue also proved favorable with regard to earnings. EBIT before purchase price allocation rose by EUR 7.1 million or 22.2% year on year to EUR 39.1 million. As a result, the EBIT margin improved to 9.0%, up 0.7 percentage points on the figure recorded for the same period a year ago. Alongside the increase in revenue, earnings growth was also driven by steady progress made at the Swiss plant affected by capacity constraints. These two aspects will also prove to be key factors when it comes to improving margins and achieving the earnings target in the financial year as a whole.
Net cash used in investing activities includes an outflow for equity interests acquired in the hofer Group; these transactions were closed in February (hpp) and March (hofer AG). Operating free cash flow, which does not include payments for acquired equity
interests, fell by EUR 12.2 million year on year to EUR -11.6 (0.6) million. This decline is attributable primarily to higher net working capital, as receivables in particular were up at the end of the quarter due to buoyant sales in March. At EUR 29.6 (37.5) million, investments in property, plant, and equipment and real estate were down year on year.
Despite a number of political and economic uncertainties, ElringKlinger anticipates that the market as a whole will remain solid in 2017. Overall, the Group estimates that global automobile production will grow by 1 to 2%; it expects to exceed this figure by around 2 to 4 percentage points in 2017. On this basis, and assuming that the site in Switzerland continues to develop favorably, the Management Board has reaffirmed its guidance for earnings in 2017. The Group's EBIT margin before purchase price allocation is expected to be around 9 to 10%. ElringKlinger's medium-term revenue and earnings targets have also been confirmed.
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