Webasto, the German component maker and sunroof major, has reported robust sales, achieving double-digit growth for the fourth consecutive year. In CY2017, the company recorded revenues of 3.5 billion euros (Rs 26,754 crore), up 16 percent, while profit margin increased by 7.1 percent.
“We have continued on our course of growth during 2017 and are accelerating the long-term strategic development of Webasto”, summarised Dr Holger Engelmann, chairman of the Management Board, Webasto, at the company conference held at the Webasto Headquarters in Stockdorf.
Group sales consisted of the sunroof and panorama roof business amounting to 2.6 billion euros (Rs 19,874 crore) or 75 percent of total sales, while convertible roofs accounted for 314 million euros (Rs 2,400 crore) or 9 percent, and the thermo and air-conditioning business generated 553 million euros (Rs 4,227 crore) which amounted to 16 percent of total sales.
For Webasto, China remained its single largest market, where sales revenue amounted to over 1 billion euros (Rs 7,644 crore) – contributing 34 percent of total sales – for the first time last year.
The domestic market for the company generated 18 percent of total sales. Europe remained its biggest market (43%) followed by Asia (40%) and Americas (17%).
In 2017, Webasto invested 233 million euros (Rs 1,781 crore) on R&D, focussing on increasing efficiency and standardisation. The company invested 176 million euros (Rs 1,345 crore) in buildings and plant (2016: 150 million Euro) – focussing on China and Europe.
Dr Holger Engelmann: “We will be investing 600 million euros in the strategic development of Webasto over the coming three years."
Engelmann said: “We will be investing 600 million euros (Rs 4,586 crore) in the strategic development of Webasto over the coming three years. This will advance our dual strategy of ‘strengthening and participating’, which will allow us to strengthen our core fields of business and open up new segments.”
The company is investing into new products and features for its core business and also towards developing capacities and structures. “An important focus will be the expansion of new fields of business for the electromobility market”, announced Engelmann.
The company in early May 2018 signed an agreement with Samsung SDI for development and supply of a battery module for the Webasto standard battery system for commercial vehicles. In addition to this, Webasto had also recently got its first build-to-print order for a battery system from a bus manufacturer. Last year the company also introduced its first charging solutions, manufactured at the company’s electronics site in Schaidt.
Moreover, the company claims it is benefitting from the growing demand for high-voltage heaters for hybrid and electric vehicles, it also has received over 60 orders for these devices from manufacturers worldwide – interest is particularly high in China. The German major states while the production is being expanded at its Neubrandenburg site, it is slated to begin operations at its new production facility in the Chinese City of Wuhan by the end of 2019.
The component supplier is cautiously optimistic for the current financial year. It’s sales and profit margin for the Q1 CY2018 was slightly lower than for the same period last year. While it states the order backlog has increased by 1.3 billion euros (Rs 9,937 crore) to 14.9 billion euros (Rs 113,896 crore).