ElringKlinger concludes 2021 financial year with strong growth in revenue and earnings

  • Group revenue up 9.7% at EUR 1,624 million
  • EBIT expands significantly to EUR 102 million; EBIT margin at 6.3% (2020: EUR 27.7 million resp. 1.9%)
  • Dividend proposal of EUR 0.15 per share
  • 2021 sees further milestones in the field of e-mobility
  • Current financial year marked by fallout from Russia-Ukraine conflict and considerable uncertainty


Dettingen/Erms (Germany), March 29, 2022 +++ ElringKlinger AG's preliminary figures published on February 25, 2022, have been confirmed by its final audited results for the 2021 financial year. In the financial year just ended, the Group managed to propel revenue by 9.7% to EUR 1,624.4 million (2020: EUR 1,480.4 million). Compared to the direction taken by both global (+3.4% based on IHS data) and European light vehicle production (-5.5%), the company's growth in revenue proved much more buoyant. Furthermore, the Group saw earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rise to EUR 102.0 million (2020: EUR 27.7 million), which corresponds to a margin of 6.3% (2020: 1.9%).

Asked to comment, Dr. Stefan Wolf, CEO of ElringKlinger AG, said, "Against the backdrop of a year marked by pandemic-induced restrictions, supply chain difficulties, and raw material shortages, ElringKlinger's 2021 financial results are more than satisfactory. The past year has shown that ElringKlinger holds a formidable position when it comes to pursuing the mega trend of electromobility and that the Group is very well placed for the next phase of the transformation process, both financially and in terms of products. This will allow us to continue to take advantage of the tremendous opportunities presented by the current transition and to maintain profitable growth in the medium term."

Significant revenue growth in the largest sales regions
ElringKlinger's largest sales region in terms of revenue, the Rest of Europe, posted strong revenue growth of EUR 65.4 million or 15.4%, taking the total to EUR 488.8 million in the 2021 financial year (2020: EUR 423.4 million). Revenue from sales in North America expanded by 7.1% or EUR 26.0 million to EUR 393.7 million in 2021 (2020: EUR 367.7 million). In the Asia-Pacific region, meanwhile, ElringKlinger generated revenue of EUR 325.4 million in the 2021 financial year (2020: EUR 274.8 million), which corresponds to growth of EUR 50.6 million or 18.4%. The Group recorded a slight dip in revenue by EUR 8.9 million or 2.5% to EUR 346.7 million (2020: EUR 355.6 million) in Germany due to production-related constraints at some car manufacturing plants.

Difficult underlying conditions
The value chain within the automotive sector was faced with a hike in prices during 2021 - with a significant upward trajectory in some cases. This was attributable not only to spiraling commodity prices but also to disruptions to supply chains in the wake of the pandemic as well as exceptional circumstances such as the torrential rain in July or the Suez Canal disaster in March. In addition, as a result of the reviving economy, staff cost, selling, and administrative expenses also trended higher again compared to 2020.

Despite these underlying conditions, the Group succeeded in further strengthening profitability with the help of its efficiency stimulus program; it posted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) of EUR 216.1 million (2020: EUR 181.5 million). Taking depreciation and amortization into account, the Group recorded earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of EUR 102.0 million (2020: EUR 27.7 million). Overall, the share of net income attributable to the shareholders of ElringKlinger AG thus amounted to EUR 55.7 million in 2021 (2020: EUR -40.8 million). As a result, earnings per share were also well above the prior-year level at EUR 0.88 (2020: EUR -0.64).

ElringKlinger has also established an extremely robust foundation with regard to its balance sheet: with earnings up, net debt was scaled back by a further EUR 90 million in 2021; the net debt ratio improved to 1.7 (Dec. 31, 2020: 2.5), while the equity ratio increased to 47.0% (Dec. 31, 2020: 41.4%).

Balanced dividend policy
Against the background of the distributable profit achieved on the one hand and the far-reaching transformation of the automotive industry on the other, the Management Board and the Supervisory Board have jointly decided in favor of a balanced approach when it comes to the company's dividend policy. They will therefore propose a dividend of EUR 0.15 to the Annual General Meeting. While shareholders are to benefit from the Group's profitability, there is also a commitment to strengthening the company in support of the next stages of transformation.

Virtual Annual General Meeting
In view of persistently high levels of infection and to ensure that all those involved remain protected, the Management Board, together with the Supervisory Board, has decided already in February to host this year's Annual General Meeting in a virtual format once again - on May 19, 2022. Even if it is to be expected that the infection situation could ease in May, there are still high uncertainties as to whether and how a face-to-face event can be held.

Milestones in new drive technologies
ElringKlinger recorded a number of milestones in the financial year just ended, particularly in its strategic fields of the future. On March 1, 2021, EKPO Fuel Cell Technologies GmbH (EKPO) commenced operations at the Group's headquarters in Dettingen/Erms, Germany, and is now set to tap into the tremendous opportunities presented by the market for fuel cell components and stacks. In addition, Battery Technology moved into its new center of excellence at the Neuffen site, where its activities are to be pooled to a greater extent.

The technological edge of ElringKlinger's products is underscored by several high-volume contracts that are of particular significance to the rapidly expanding E-Mobility business unit. In 2021, for example, ElringKlinger AG announced an order placed by a global battery manufacturer for cell contact systems with a total volume in the mid-triple-digit million euro range, while EKPO reported a high-volume series production order in the high double-digit million euro range for the supply of fuel cell stacks to a German mobility company. In addition, the Group will receive funding of a total of EUR 33.8 million until 2026 to develop a new cell cover design as part of the European "IPCEI Battery 2" project. Thus, ElringKlinger has become one of eleven German companies tasked to establish a European battery value chain as part of this initiative. Moreover, the German government has pre-selected ElringKlinger for the "IPCEI Hydrogen" program, which has yet to be confirmed by the European Commission.

Outlook 2022
Based on its 2021 financial results, the Group is entering the new fiscal year from a strengthened position, while also being exposed to persistently challenging conditions. The high degree of uncertainty, attributable primarily to the repercussions still being felt as a result of the pandemic as well as to ongoing semiconductor shortages and the difficult situation within the commodity markets, has been further exacerbated by the Russia-Ukraine conflict. In this context, the intensity of this conflict and the unpredictability with regard to its future course and possible global consequences are to be seen as key influencing factors. If the Russian-Ukrainian conflict continues to have a lasting impact on value chains within the automotive sector and if the dispute were to result in a significant loss in revenue contributions, it would be impossible to rule out further additional effects on earnings. With this in mind, the Group is suspending its forecast for the current 2022 financial year. ElringKlinger will issue a forecast for the 2022 financial year as soon as it is possible to make a sound, reliable assessment of the impact on the Group's key financials.

Overall, the Group has defined a short-term strategy of action in response to the challenging conditions seen at present. It will be focused primarily on managing the impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the tense situation within the commodity markets, and the inflationary risks emanating from higher energy, transport, and wage costs. In the medium and long term, the industry as a whole will be shaped by the process of transformation seen within the field of mobility. Benefiting from its early focus and a product portfolio that has already undergone transformation, the Group is very well positioned.

Key financials for FY 2021 and Q4 2021

EUR millionFY 2021FY 2020∆ abs.∆ rel.Q4 2021Q4 2020∆ abs.∆ rel.
Order intake1,977.51,483.1+494.4+33.3%485.1512.0-26.9-5.3%
Order backlog1,386.21,033.1+353.1+34.2%1,386.21,033.1+353.1+34.2%
of which FX effects  -6.2-0.4%  +6.4+1.4%
of which M&A  +0.0+0.0%  +0.0+0.0%
of which organic  +150.2+10.1%  -51.1-11.3%
EBIT margin (in %)6.31.9+4.4PP-0.95.6-4.7PP-
Net finance cost-1.3-41.3+40.0>100%5.4-15.4+20.8>100%
Income taxes46.226.4+19.8+75.0%8.918.7-9.8-52.4%
Effektive tax rate (in %)45.8<-100.0--98.6>100.0--
Net income
(after minorities)
Earnings per share (in EUR)0.88-0.64+1.52>100%0.01-0.17+0.18>100%
Investments in PPE (payments)70.057.3+12.7+22.2%32.319.4+12.9+66.5%
Operating free cash flow72.0164.7-92.7-56.3%-1.762.4-64.1<-100%
Dividend per share (in EUR)0.15*0.00+0.15>100%    
ROCE (in %)6.41.7+4.7PP-    
Net Working Capital402.2402.8-0.6-0.1%    
Equity ratio (in %)47.041.4+5.6PP-    
Net financial debt369.2458.8-89.6-19.5%    
Employees (as at Dec. 31)9,4669,724-258.0-2,7%    


*Proposal to the annual general meeting 2022

The annual report for 2021 is available online at: https://elringklinger.de/investor/2021-gb-en.pdf