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Nine Month Results Fiscal Year 2014/2015: HELLA Increases Sales and Earnings

27 March 2015

• Sales up 7 percent year on year to EUR 4.218 million
• Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) increase by 14 percent to EUR 309 million
• Expected growth in full-year sales and operating profit in a middle to high single-digit percentage range


Lippstadt, 27 March 2015. HELLA KGaA Hueck & Co., a globally leading supplier of lighting technology and electronic products for the automotive industry, successfully built on previous growth in the third quarter of fiscal year 2014/2015 and further accelerated its pace compared to the second quarter. This was also helped by currency effects. Group sales over the first nine months of this fiscal year increased by about 7 percent year on year to EUR 4.218 billion (previous year: EUR 3.944 billion), thereby once again outgrowing the global automotive market. Adjusted operating earnings (EBIT) over the same period grew by circa 14 percent to EUR 309 million (prior year period: EUR 271 million). This corresponds to an adjusted EBIT margin of 7.3 percent (previous year: 6.9 percent). Adjusted by expenditures for the phased voluntary partial retirement and redundancy program, operating earnings grew by approximately 6 percent to 318 million (previous year: EUR 300 million). This corresponds to an adjusted EBIT margin of 7.5 percent.

Strong momentum in the Automotive business carries on

HELLA’s development in the third quarter continues the growth path established in previous quarters, with HELLA’s Automotive business again being the decisive performance driver. Besides the general market recovery in Western Europe the business was boosted particularly by HELLA’s strong positioning with German premium OEMs and the commencement of new projects with high-quality LED technologies and electronic components. Nine month Automotive sales rose 8.3 percent to EUR 3.4 billion (previous year: EUR 3.1 billion). External growth (without intra-business sales) was 10 percent. “HELLA now reaps the rewards of the hard work that went into our globalization initiative over the past years and months”, said CEO Dr Rolf Breidenbach. “Particularly our strong regional presence in the North American and Chinese growth markets is paying off in the current market environment. The healthy momentum we have seen this fiscal year is proof that our growth strategy, we pursue over the long term, works and motivates us to continue down that route.”

Aftermarket business more stable

The Aftermarket business recovered from a weak first half, growing sales by 7 percent quarter on quarter in the three months to February. The decisive factor was positive momentum in the North and Eastern Europe wholesale and the garage businesses. Over the first nine months of the year, the business increased sales by 0.6 percent year on year to EUR 861 million.

Headwinds for the Special Applications business continue

The stubbornly sluggish agricultural demand still weighed on the results of the Special Applications business. Key clients significantly downsized production inter alia due to the Ukraine crisis, nine month sales fell by 11 percent to EUR 225 million.

Development over the nine month period supports full-year growth and earnings forecast

HELLA continues to benefit from solid financials. Its equity ratio was 38 percent at the reporting date on 28 February 2015. The net debt to EBDITA ratio was 0.4x. In February Moody’s renewed the Baa2 investment grade rating with a stable outlook.
In the anticipation that the positive market conditions continue, HELLA expects to grow fiscal year 2014/2015 sales and adjusted operating earnings at Group level correspondingly in a middle to high single-digit percentage range.

Selected financial data from the nine month report 2014/2015
(in EUR million) 

     2014/2015    2013/2014    Change
 Sales     4,218    3,944    +6.9%
 Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT)    309    271    +14,0%
 EBIT margin    7,3%    6,9%    +0,4pp
 Equity ratio    37,9%    32,3%    +5.6pp

Additional details on the corporate strategy and the activities of the individual businesses are available in the current nine month report 2014/2015. It can be downloaded as of today from the HELLA KGaA & Hueck Co. website


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