Autoneum benefited from market dynamics
Solid net profit and further strengthening of the balance sheet thanks to significant revenue and profitability increases
The automobile industry recovered significantly in the first half of 2021 compared to the prior-year period, which had been impacted by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Autoneum benefited from the market dynamics and managed to increase its revenue in local currencies by 24.3% in the first semester. EBIT rose to CHF 44.7 million thanks to higher revenues and further progress in the turnaround in North America, corresponding to an EBIT margin of 5.0%. The strong free cash flow of CHF 67.2 million has allowed for a further reduction in net debt.
In the first half of 2021, 29.2% more light vehicles were produced worldwide than in the coronavirus-hit first half of 2020. The market recovery, though significant, was hampered by the global semiconductor shortage, which led to temporary production stoppages and manufacturers producing lower vehicle volumes. Autoneum increased revenue in local currencies by 24.3% in the first six months. In Swiss francs, revenue climbed by 21.9% to CHF 890.3 million. Business Group SAMEA (South America, Middle East and Africa) grew clearly above market, while the shortage of semiconductors in North America in particular impacted the production of models supplied by Autoneum and the revenue development of Business Group North America.
Autoneum managed to improve its operating result (EBIT) considerably by CHF 76.5 million in the first six months compared to the prior-year period. In addition to higher revenues, this was mainly due to the immediate and sustainable adjustment of the cost structure in all Business Groups to the new market reality in 2020 as well as the improved earnings achieved in the turnaround program in North America. Higher material costs, however, had a negative impact on the operating result. EBIT in the amount of CHF 44.7 million (prior-year period: CHF –31.8 million) corresponds to an EBIT margin of 5.0% (prior-year period: –4.4%).
The development of global light vehicle production in the second half of 2021 remains uncertain due to the semiconductor shortage. Although there is a high demand from end customers in all regions, it can be assumed that the shortage of chips will continue to impact automobile production in the second half of the year, but not as severely as in the second quarter of the first half-year.
Revenue in the second half-year 2021 is expected to be higher than in the first semester. Based on the unfavorable allocation of semiconductors to vehicle models supplied by Autoneum in the first half of 2021, revenue development is likely to be slightly below market for the full year 2021. With an easing of the semiconductor shortage, this will normalize.