Press release BoxID: 265669 (ElringKlinger AG)
  • ElringKlinger AG
  • Max-Eyth-Str. 2
  • 72581 Dettingen / Erms
  • Contact person
  • Stephan Haas
  • +49 (7123) 724-640

High approval rates at ElringKlinger AGM

Dividend of EUR 0.15 per share agreed

(PresseBox) (Stuttgart, Dettingen/Erms, Germany, ) MDAX-listed ElringKlinger AG will pay a reduced dividend of EUR 0.15 (0.47) per share for the 2008 fiscal year. The approx. 600 shareholders attending today's Annual General Meeting at the Stuttgart Cultural and Congress Center "Liederhalle" approved the actions of both the Management Board and Supervisory Board.

The shareholders looked back on an inconsistent fiscal 2008. After a solid business performance in the first six months of 2008, the severe decline within automobile markets in North America and Europe over the course of the third and the fourth quarter also prompted a visible downturn in the ElringKlinger Group.

Despite this, the automotive supplier managed to lift sales by 8.2% to EUR 657.8 (607.8) million or the annual period as a whole. The acquisition of the SEVEX Group, Switzerland and the expansion of the company's ownership interest in ElringKlinger Marusan Corporation, Japan, were responsible for this growth. Before purchase price allocation and having eliminated non-recurring factors, profit attributable to shareholders of ElringKlinger AG was EUR 38.7 (67.2) million.

The shareholders approved the actions of both the Management Board and the Supervisory Board at a rate of 99.8% and 99.1% respectively. KPMG AG Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft Stuttgart was again appointed as auditor for the fiscal year 2009.

The shareholders present agreed a reduced dividend of EUR 0.15 per share for fiscal 2008, compared with a dividend of EUR 0.47 per share (after 1:3 stock split in July 2008) for the previous year. Calculated on the basis of profit attributable to the shareholders of ElringKlinger AG, the dividend ratio for 2008 was 78.7%.

Furthermore, the AGM authorized the company to reacquire its own shares up to a total amount of 10% of share capital at the date on which this resolution was passed.

As part of an exhibition in the foyer of the "Liederhalle" Cultural and Congress Center, Stuttgart, the company unveiled its latest products and technology developed by the respective business divisions of the AG and the subsidiaries of the ElringKlinger Group - under the common heading of "CO2 reduction".

Visitors attending the event showed a particularly keen interest in a glass exhaust tract featuring fourteen different ElringKlinger products. Additionally, the company showcased a number of pioneering solutions developed for the purpose of optimizing internal combustion engines as well as components relating to fuel cell research and battery technology.

Given the continued economic crisis and uncertainties as to the future direction of the automobile markets, the Group unchanged has made preparations for a range of different scenarios in 2009. These range, in the best case, from matching the revenue and EBIT figures of fiscal 2008 under the assumption that the global automobile markets recover substantially by the beginning of the second half of 2009 to the scenario of a decline in vehicle production within the Northern American and European markets by 20 to 25%, coinciding with an additional contraction of vehicle sales within the emerging markets. Should this last scenario eventuate, ElringKlinger anticipates Group sales in the region of EUR 580 to 600 million and an EBIT margin of 8 to 10% for fiscal 2009 as a whole. This includes revenues from planned product ramp-ups as well as sales and earnings contributions of the newly acquired SEVEX Group and ElringKlinger Marusan Corporation, for which 2009 is the first time in which these entities have been included in consolidated Q1 accounts (in 2008 effective from April 1 and May 1 respectively). In the first three months of 2009, however, the markets declined at a more pronounced rate than previously assumed as part of the negative scenario. In January and February, aggregate vehicle sales declined by more than 22% in Europe and by 39% in the United States. The fall in vehicle production figures was even more extensive. If the very low level of vehicle sales seen in the first two months continues over 2009 as a whole, Group sales may contract in the direction of EUR 500 million. Even in this case, ElringKlinger will be targeting an EBIT margin of 5 to 8%, supported by a Group-wide streamlining program already initiated within the area of material expenses, personnel expenses and purchasing, as well as intensive working capital management.

Despite the difficult market environment, Dr. Stefan Wolf, CEO of ElringKlinger AG, outlined his confidence in the company's future prospects. "Amid the current crisis, our financial strength and substantial equity ratio will help us in enhancing ElringKlinger's competitive position," said Dr. Wolf in his speech to shareholders. "We shall continue to invest heavily in research and development over the course of this year and focus on delivering solutions that address the core issues facing today's automobile industry: the lowering of emission levels, the reduction of fuel consumption and the use of alternative drive concepts," said Dr. Wolf.