CONCENTRIC INTERIM REPORT JANUARY – DECEMBER 2016

FOURTH QUARTER

  • Net sales: MSEK 473 (504) – down 7% y-o-y, after adjusting for currency (+1%).
  • Operating income: MSEK 86 (83), generating an operating margin of 18.2% (16.4) – underlying operating margin was 17.4% (16.9), adjusting for restructuring expenses and pension related items affecting comparability.
  • Earnings after tax: MSEK 64 (54); basic EPS of SEK 1.57 (1.32).
  • Solid cash flow generated from operating activities: MSEK 100 (127) driven by continued tight management of working capital.
  • Dividend: Based on the Group’s earnings and strong financial position, the Board of Directors intend to propose a total dividend of SEK 3.50 (3.25) per share and to renew the current mandate for share buybacks.

FULL YEAR

  • Net sales: MSEK 2,004 (2,306) – down 10% y-o-y, after adjusting for currency (–3%).
  • Operating income: MSEK 341 (381), generating an operating margin of 17.0% (16.5) – underlying operating margin was 16.8% (16.6), adjusting for restructuring expenses and pension related items affecting comparability.
  • Earnings after tax: MSEK 246 (271); basic EPS of SEK 6.01 (6.45).
  • Strong cash flow generated from operating activities: MSEK 409 (366).
  • Group’s net debt: MSEK 300 (488); gearing ratio of 35% (57) – own share buybacks of MSEK 85 (142) during the year.

Sales development
The group’s sales for the fourth quarter and the full year were down year-on-year by 7% and 10% respectively in constant currency, which was broadly in line with published market indices. The primary reason for the decline in sales was the 20% reduction in end-customer demand and 30% reduction in production of Class 8 heavy duty trucks following the peak in the US replacement cycle during 2015 and a subsequent correction of inventory levels. European truck sales softened in the second half of 2016 as the demand for trucks in Southern Europe was satisfied. Commodity prices continued to strengthen in the fourth quarter and, whilst it has not impacted our demand yet, there is some evidence of increased activity within raw material production areas. However, demand for Construction equipment in North America and Europe remained soft with the macro economic uncertainty.

Addressing the market conditions
Growth remains the highest priority for Concentric and during the year we have continued to invest in product development and strengthen both our sales team and engineering resources. At the same time we cannot disregard the current tough market conditions in Europe, North and South America. We therefore recently announced the impact of the restructuring plans initiated during the second half of 2016 as a direct response to the sustained weak outlook for end-markets in these regions. The restructuring corresponds to a 7% reduction of the group’s total workforce, primarily affecting operations in Chivilcoy, Argentina and Hof, Germany. Additionally, warehousing facilities will be rationalised. All in all, these measures will result in annual savings corresponding to MSEK 30 as of 2017.

All parts of the business also continue to participate in the Concentric Business Excellence programme (“CBE”) and this has also provided a framework for the restructuring plans. The successful implementation of CBE has continued to support the consolidated results, ensuring that the underlying EBIT margin for both the quarter and the full-year actually improved to 17.4% and 16.8% respectively, in spite of the market headwinds.

New product launches
We recently exhibited at the IAA 2016 where Concentric presented its extensive range of pumps, including new product developments such as the Mid-range 2-speed controllable cooling pump, which received a lot of positive feedback.

We also continue to explore acquisition opportunities for enabling technologies that will enhance our solutions for variable displacement pumps and provide us with an even greater presence alongside our global customers.

Outlook
2016 was a rather tough year due to suppressed prices for many commodities and a down-turn for trucks sales. Looking ahead, the increase of public spending in the US on infrastructure investments promised by the new Trump administration could have a positive impact in 2017 for most of our end-markets in the region. We will continue to focus on CBE to enable us to respond to the prevailing market conditions. Market indices suggest that production volumes blended to Concentric’s end-markets and regions will be flat year-on-year for 2017. We have seen a number of truck OEMs recently release their financial results and we note that the sales development in Europe was generally stronger and that Volvo Trucks raised its guidance for truck sales in Europe in 2017. This more favourable development in Europe is naturally also beneficial to Concentric’s outlook. Concentric remains well positioned both financially and operationally, to fully leverage our market opportunities.

For further information, please contact:
David Woolley (President and CEO) or David Bessant (CFO) at Tel: +44 121 445 6545 or E-mail:
info@concentricab.com  

The information in this report is of the type that Concentric AB is obliged to make public pursuant to the EU Market Abuse Regulation and the Securities Markets Act. The information was submitted for publication, through the agency of the contact persons set out above, at 08.00 CET on 9 February, 2017.  

About Us

Concentric AB is the former Hydraulics Division of Haldex AB and from June 16 2011 a separate listed company.Concentric is one of the world’s leading pump manufacturers. Our flow dynamics gives customers advanced technology oil pumps, water pumps, fuel pumps and hydraulic systems. We aim to increase fuel economy, reduce emissions and improve engine control through our technical solutions and precision engineering. Concentric’s global manufacturing presence includes factories in Sweden, Germany, the UK, the USA, Argentina, India and China, backed by central support and development functions. This means we sell locally to our global customers. The business fuses Concentric’s strengths as a pumps maker with longstanding expertise in hydraulic products. Our customers make trucks, construction equipment, agricultural machinery and general industrial applications.

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