Global automotive major Benteler Group, which engages with industry from product ideas through to series production, from special tubes for airbags to entire chassis systems, has reported a strong performance in 2018, a year full of challenges.
Despite the turbulence in the global economy and within the sector, revenue topped 8 billion euros (Rs 62,264 crore) for the first time and growth outpaced the market. The excellent order-book situation – and the strong growth associated with this – gave rise to costs above plan. Added to this were external factors such as the trade conflict between the US and China which started with punitive tariffs, and the introduction of the testing procedure for exhaust emissions, WLTP.
The Benteler Group generated a consolidated net profit of 31.2 million euros (Rs 243 crore) in the 2018 financial year. Total assets rose slightly, liquid assets remained at a high level, and the equity ratio was slightly above that of the previous year.
Benteler says it made use of the year to adjust its strategic orientation. “We are placing our focus on balanced growth and increased profitability. In future we will be concentrating even more closely on our core business. As a process specialist, we offer our customers excellent products, processes and services,” explains Ralf Göttel, CEO of Benteler International AG. “In addition, we will invest in a targeted way in selected areas that fit with our core competence – for example in the field of electromobility.”
Although the market declined in the second half of the year, the Automotive Division generated revenues of 6.304 billion euros in 2018, matching those of the previous year. This corresponds to a share of 76.2 percent of Group revenues. The start-up of the module plant in the Polish town of Września had a particularly positive effect, as did the growth in China. The excellent order-book situation also brought the challenge of increasing production in the form of new launches and ramp-ups. This incurred costs above plan. The markets themselves are intact, which is why catch-up effects are expected.
The Steel/Tube Division achieved revenues in the year of report of 1.206 billion euros (share of Group revenues: 14.6%). This is an increase of 18.0% compared to 2017. The Distribution Division increased revenues by 6.3% in 2018 to 761 million euros (share of Group revenues: 9.2%).
Outlook for 2019
The concentration on profitable growth mentioned above will start to take effect in 2020, says Benteler. In 2019 the executive Board of the Benteler Group is again expecting a significant increase in revenues, thanks to the very good order-book situation. With the initiatives already started and the measures still in the pipeline, the company says it is well equipped to continue to be successful: In all three Divisions in 2019 an improvement in operating results is expected – and that despite the fact that political and economic developments around the world are not showing signs of quietening down.