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Press Release

ElringKlinger records positive free cash flow in the 2nd quarter of 2019

DGAP-News: ElringKlinger AG / Key word(s): Half Year Results

07.08.2019 / 07:30
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.


ElringKlinger records positive free cash flow in the 2nd quarter of 2019

- Revenue up by 0.8% to EUR 434.1 million in second quarter of 2019 and by 1.6% to EUR 875.2 million in first half of 2019

- EBIT before purchase price allocation at EUR 10.7 million in period from April to June and EUR 17.6 million after six months

- Group-wide program aimed at optimizing cash flow takes effect: operating free cash flow totals EUR 79.3 million in first six months of 2019

- No tangible market recovery expected in second half: ElringKlinger anticipates decline in global automobile production of 2 to 4% year on year in 2019

- Outlook for fiscal 2019 confirmed

Dettingen/Erms (Germany), August 7, 2019 +++ ElringKlinger AG saw another slight increase in revenue over the course of the first half of 2019. Operating within a contracting market, the Group recorded revenue growth of 0.8% in the second quarter of 2019, taking the figure to EUR 434.1 million. Adjusted for currency effects and M&A activities, organic revenue growth stood at -0.3% in the period from April to June. During the same period, ElringKlinger thus managed to outperform - by five percentage points - the global vehicle industry as a whole, which saw aggregate automobile production fall by -5.3%.

More pronounced downturn in market activity
Contrary to market performance in general, ElringKlinger recorded further growth in Group revenues during the second quarter of 2019 in North America, which saw an expansion of 31.1%. The other key sales regions, by contrast, felt the impact of market slowdown. The Rest of Europe, which is ElringKlinger's largest sales market, saw revenue decline by 5.9% year on year in the second quarter. In the region encompassing Asia-Pacific, meanwhile, revenue was down by 7.4%. ElringKlinger also recorded a decline in its home market of Germany, which saw revenues fall by 9.6%.

Earnings affected by high cost base
At EUR 39.0 million, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) in the second quarter fell short of the figure posted for the same period a year ago (Q2 2018: EUR 49.3 million). This was attributable to the comparatively high cost base, driven primarily by the market downturn in Europe and China, the persistently strong demand in North America as well as commodity prices. Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT), before write-downs relating to purchase price allocation, amounted to EUR 10.7 million in the second quarter of 2019 (Q2 2018: EUR 26.3 million). Therefore, the EBIT margin before purchase price allocation was 2.5% (Q2 2018: 6.1%). As a result of tax-related effects, the Group recorded earnings per share of EUR -0.14 in the second quarter.

Group-wide program to optimize cash flow takes effect
The program implemented by the ElringKlinger Group with a view to optimizing its cash flow situation resulted in a visible improvement in liquidity levels during the first six months of 2019. Thanks to a number of different measures - above all the continuous optimization of net working capital and a disciplined approach to investing activities - operating free cash flow increased to EUR 98.6 million in the second quarter of 2019 alone (Q2 2018: EUR -19.0 million). At the end of the first half of 2019, therefore, the figure was up at EUR 79.3 million in total (H1 2018: EUR -42.2 million).

"As figures for the first half indicate, we are on track with measures initiated for the purpose of improving our cash flow," says Dr. Stefan Wolf, CEO of ElringKlinger AG. "We have moved forward considerably with regard to investments and working capital - and we intend to pursue this action plan in a determined manner. Having said that, we are currently operating within a market environment that is proving difficult as a whole."

No palpable recovery of global automobile production in second half
Based on the most recent market projections, the recovery of global vehicle production is likely to be less dynamic in the second half of 2019 than originally expected at the beginning of the year. ElringKlinger now anticipates a global market downturn of between 2% and 4% year on year for 2019 as a whole, rather than the modest growth rate of between 0% and 1% predicted at the beginning of the financial year. Nevertheless, the ElringKlinger Group continues to maintain its fiscal 2019 revenue target of growing organically by 2 to 4 percentage points above the rate of growth in the global market.

Current order backlog remains solid but outlook for new orders less promising
The Group's order book has proven resilient despite the challenging economic situation. With a volume of EUR 1,063.0 million at the end of the second quarter of 2019, its order backlog was up 2.4% year on year (Q2 2018: EUR 1,038.2 million); adjusted for currency effects, it expanded by 1.5%. The downturn in markets, however, was reflected in order intake. Totaling EUR 419.8 million, it was down by 8.5% year on year in the second quarter (Q2 2018: EUR 458.6 million). After adjusting for currency effects, the decrease was 7.8%.

Outlook for fiscal 2019 confirmed
Conditions are likely to remain challenging for the automotive industry, with key markets in China, North America, and Europe set to contract over the full year. Therefore, it would appear likely that market downturn will impact on ElringKlinger's earnings performance. At the same time, the Group is looking to counteract these developments with the help of several measures. In the first half of the year, for example, ElringKlinger launched an extensive internal cost-cutting program that will continue to deliver benefits as the Group moves forward. Additionally, the first exemption refunds are expected with regard to US tariffs. ElringKlinger also anticipates that it will generate income in the high single-digit million-euro range from a real estate sale to be executed by the end of the financial year. Furthermore, cost structures are to be further optimized at the Swiss plant and the North American sites. Overall, as a result of these various factors, the Group will still be looking to achieve an EBIT margin of around 4% to 5% before purchase price allocation despite the more difficult conditions it currently faces. This assumes that no further significant externalities emerge as a drag on earnings and that markets do not weaken any further than already anticipated.

Key Financials for Q2 and H1 of 2019

EUR millionH1
2019
H1
2018
∆ abs.∆ rel.Q2
2019
Q2
2018
∆ abs.∆ rel.
Order intake918.1932.8-14.7-1.6%419.8458.6-38.8-8.5%
Order backlog1,063.01,038.2+24.8+2.4%1,063.01,038.2+24.8+2.4%
Revenue875.2861.5+13.7+1.6%434.1430.8+3.3+0.8%
of which FX effects  +9.9+1.1%  +4.4+1.0%
of which M&A  -6.2-0.7%  +0.0-
of which organic  +10.0+1.2%  -1.1-0.3%
EBITDA73.8110.4-36.6-33.2%39.049.3-10.3-20.9%
EBIT before purchase price allocation17.664.6*-47.0-72.8%10.726.3-15.6-59.3%
EBIT margin before purchase price allocation (in %)2.07.5*-5.5PP-2.56.1-3.6PP-
Purchase price allocation1.01.9-0.9-47.4%0.51.0- 0.5-50.0%
EBIT16.662.7*-46.1-73.5%10.225.3-15.1-59.7%
Net finance cost-9.7-10.3+0.6+5.8%-8.7 -5.0 -3.7-74.0%
EBT6.952.4*-45.5-86.8%1.520.3-18.8-92.6%
Taxes on income16.716.7+0.0-10.210.9-0.7-6.4%
Net income (after non-controlling interests)-10.134.2*-44.3>-100%-8.68.5-17.1>-100%
Earnings per share (in EUR)-0.160.54-0.70>-100%-0.140.13-0.27>-100%
Investments (in property, plant, and equipment and investment property)49.567.7-18.2-26.9%20.738.4-17.7-46.1%
Operating free cash flow79.3-42.2+121.5>+100%98.6-19.0+117.6>+100%
Net working capital498.9604.1-105.2-17.4%    
Equity ratio (in %)40.742.8-2.1PP-    
Net financial liabilities699.9682.6+17.3+2.5%    
Employees (as of June 30)10,4119,954+457+4.6%    

* Incl. gain from sale of Hug subgroup (EUR 21.1 million before taxes)

For further information, please contact:
ElringKlinger AG
Dr. Jens Winter
Strategic Communications
Max-Eyth-Straße 2
72581 Dettingen/Erms (Germany)
Phone: +49 7123 724-88335
Fax: +49 7123 724-85 8335
E-mail: jens.winter[at]elringklinger.com

About ElringKlinger AG
As an independent and globally positioned supplier, ElringKlinger is a powerful and reliable partner to the automotive industry. Be it passenger car or commercial vehicle, equipped with an optimized combustion engine, with hybrid technology, or with an all-electric motor - we offer innovative solutions for all types of drive system. In doing so, we are making a committed contribution to sustainable mobility. Our lightweighting concepts help to reduce the overall weight of vehicles. As a result, vehicles powered by combustion engines consume less fuel and emit less CO2, while those equipped with alternative propulsion systems benefit from an extended range. Developing cutting-edge battery and fuel cell technology as well as electric drive units, we were among the frontrunners when it came to positioning ourselves as a specialist in the field of e-mobility. At the same time, we are committed to evolving our sealing technology for a wide range of applications. Our shielding systems are designed to ensure high-end temperature and acoustics management throughout the vehicle. Dynamic precision parts developed by ElringKlinger can be used in all types of drive system. Additionally, the Group's portfolio includes engineering services, tooling technology, and products made of high-performance plastics, which are also marketed to industries beyond the automotive sector. These efforts are supported by a dedicated workforce of more than 10,000 people at 44 ElringKlinger Group locations around the globe.
www.elringklinger.com

Disclaimer
This release contains forward-looking statements. These statements are based on expectations, market evaluations and forecasts by the Management Board and on information currently available to them. In particular, the forward-looking statements shall not be interpreted as a guarantee that the future events and results to which they refer will actually materialize. Whilst the Management Board is confident that the statements as well as the opinions and expectations on which they are based are realistic, the aforementioned statements rely on assumptions that may conceivably prove to be incorrect. Future results and circumstances depend on a multitude of factors, risks and imponderables that can alter the expectations and judgments that have been expressed. These factors include, for example, changes to the general economic and business situation, variations of exchange rates and interest rates, poor acceptance of new products and services, and changes to business strategy.



07.08.2019 Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by DGAP - a service of EQS Group AG.
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

The DGAP Distribution Services include Regulatory Announcements, Financial/Corporate News and Press Releases.
Archive at www.dgap.de



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Press Release

ElringKlinger AGM with big response again in 2019

DGAP-News: ElringKlinger AG / Key word(s): AGM/EGM

16.05.2019 / 14:58
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.


ElringKlinger AGM with big response again in 2019

- High attendance thanks to around 800 shareholders and guests

- Dividend payment for fiscal 2018 suspended; internal financing for corporate transformation process thus further strengthened

- CEO Dr. Stefan Wolf: "Financial year just ended was characterized by challenging business conditions - market environment is expected to remain difficult in 2019. ElringKlinger is well positioned at a strategic level to successfully drive industry change."

- Proposed resolutions approved by large majority in each case

Stuttgart, Dettingen/Erms (Germany), May 16, 2019 +++ The 114th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of ElringKlinger AG, which took place on Thursday, May 16, 2019, at the Cultural and Congress Center Liederhalle in Stuttgart, was attended by around 800 shareholders and guests. In his speech, Dr. Stefan Wolf, CEO of ElringKlinger AG, presented his review of the 2018 financial year.

"The financial year just ended was characterized by challenging business conditions. What is more, the market environment is expected to remain difficult in 2019," said Dr. Stefan Wolf. However, the Group will benefit in the medium term from the strategic direction it has taken: "ElringKlinger is well positioned in its strategic fields of the future: serial production of the first battery order is about to commence; we have seen a keen interest in fuel cell technology; our electric drive units will soon be going into series production and we will also be ramping up operations for further orders centered around lightweight structural components," Dr. Wolf explained. At the same time, the Group will be looking to build on its strong market position and technological know-how in the long-standing fields of business for the purpose of successfully driving the process of change within the industry.

Despite difficult conditions, the ElringKlinger Group managed to lift revenue by 2.1% to EUR 1,699.0 million in fiscal 2018. At EUR 100.2 million, however, earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) before purchase price allocation were well down on the prior-year figure (EUR 141.8 million). The EBIT margin before purchase price allocation for 2018 was 5.9% (prev. year: 8.5%). In view of the Group's earnings performance in fiscal 2018, the Management Board and the Supervisory Board jointly decided to suspend the dividend for the 2018 financial year. This is aimed at further strengthening internal financing in support of the company's transformation process.

The resolutions submitted to shareholders of ElringKlinger AG for voting were each passed by large majorities. As regards fiscal 2018, the AGM approved the actions of the Management Board members with 86.7% and the actions of the Supervisory Board members with 86.7% of the votes, too. Ernst & Young GmbH Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft, Stuttgart, was appointed as the auditor for the financial year 2019. In total, 68% of the company's share capital was represented at the meeting.


For further information, please contact:
ElringKlinger AG
Dr. Jens Winter
Strategic Communications
Max-Eyth-Straße 2
72581 Dettingen/Erms (Germany)
Phone: +49 7123 724-88335
Fax: +49 7123 724-85 8335
E-mail: jens.winter[at]elringklinger.com

About ElringKlinger AG
As an independent and globally positioned supplier, ElringKlinger is a powerful and reliable partner to the automotive industry. Be it passenger car or commercial vehicle, equipped with an optimized combustion engine, with hybrid technology, or with an all-electric motor - we offer innovative solutions for all types of drive system. In doing so, we are making a committed contribution to sustainable mobility. Our lightweighting concepts help to reduce the overall weight of vehicles. As a result, vehicles powered by combustion engines consume less fuel and emit less CO2, while those equipped with alternative propulsion systems benefit from an extended range. Developing cutting-edge battery and fuel cell technology as well as electric drive units, we were among the frontrunners when it came to positioning ourselves as a specialist in the field of e-mobility. At the same time, we are committed to evolving our sealing technology for a wide range of applications. Our shielding systems are designed to ensure high-end temperature and acoustics management throughout the vehicle. Dynamic precision parts developed by ElringKlinger can be used in all types of drive system. Additionally, the Group's portfolio includes engineering services, tooling technology, and products made of high-performance plastics, which are also marketed to industries beyond the automotive sector. These efforts are supported by a dedicated workforce of more than 10,000 people at 44 ElringKlinger Group locations around the globe.



16.05.2019 Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by DGAP - a service of EQS Group AG.
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

The DGAP Distribution Services include Regulatory Announcements, Financial/Corporate News and Press Releases.
Archive at www.dgap.de



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Press Release

ElringKlinger expands revenue amid global market downturn

DGAP-News: ElringKlinger AG / Key word(s): Quarter Results

07.05.2019 / 07:33
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.


ElringKlinger expands revenue amid global market downturn

- Revenue in first quarter of 2019 increases by 2.4% year on year to EUR 441.1 million; organic revenue growth stands at 2.6%

- Global automobile production contracts by 3.7% in first quarter, particularly due to market weakness in China

- EBIT before purchase price allocation totals EUR 6.9 million - earnings affected mainly by high commodity prices, US duties and follow-on costs at highly utilized NAFTA plants

- Guidance for fiscal 2019 confirmed

Dettingen/Erms (Germany), May 7, 2019 +++ ElringKlinger AG succeeded in further expanding its revenue in the first quarter of 2019 amid an increasingly challenging business environment. Driven in particular by sustained buoyancy in demand within North America, sales revenue increased by 2.4% to EUR 441.1 million compared to the same quarter a year ago (EUR 430.7 million). In this context, currency effects - primarily from the translation of the US dollar into the euro as the Group currency - contributed 1.3 percentage points to growth. By contrast, revenue was diluted by 1.4 percentage points as a result of the sale of the Hug subgroup and new enerday GmbH in the preceding year. Organic revenue growth, i.e., the figure adjusted for currency effects and M&A activities, thus stood at 2.6%.

Global market contraction - North America as growth driver for ElringKlinger
While ElringKlinger maintained its forward momentum, the market as a whole trended considerably lower. In the first three months of 2019, global automobile production fell by 3.7% compared with the same period a year ago. On this basis, ElringKlinger managed to exceed the change in global vehicle production by 6.3 percentage points in organic terms in the first quarter of 2019.

Revenue growth developed along very different lines in the respective regions covered by ElringKlinger. The market downturn in Europe and Asia-Pacific was reflected in the Group's revenue figures. Revenue from sales in Europe fell by 2.5% adjusted for currency effects, while business in Asia-Pacific declined by 5.8%. The lethargic state of the world's largest vehicle market, China (-5.1%), was a key factor in this context. By contrast, the Group continued to record strong demand in North America. Revenue generated by ElringKlinger from sales in the North American market, whose vehicle production output fell by 2.4% in the first quarter of 2019, expanded by 26.5% to EUR 101.6 million during the same period; adjusted for currency effects, growth stood at 19.9%.

"The downturn in global vehicle production continued at the beginning of the year, as anticipated, and the second quarter is only likely to see a slight improvement compared to the first three months. Markets aren't expected to pick up more rapidly before the second half of the year," explains Dr. Stefan Wolf, CEO of ElringKlinger AG, in outlining market expectations for the year as a whole.

Group earnings impacted by external and internal factors
ElringKlinger's earnings were again impacted by external and internal factors in the first quarter of 2019. Tariffs imposed by the US administration on certain raw materials, so-called antidumping and countervailing duties on aluminum imports from China, had an adverse effect on earnings. At the same time, higher commodity prices, particularly for plastic granules but also with regard to steel and aluminum, had an impact on the bottom line. In addition, the Group still had to contend with follow-on costs attributable to persistently high capacity utilization at its North American plants.

As a result of these factors, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) fell to EUR 34.8 million in the first quarter of 2019, down from EUR 61.1 million in the same period a year ago. Depreciation and amortization were up by 19.9% year on year at EUR 28.3 million following the first-time application of the new International Financial Reporting Standard 16. Consequently, earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) stood at EUR 6.9 million before purchase price allocation, which corresponds to a margin of 1.6%. The comparative prior-year figure for the first quarter was EUR 38.4 million (margin: 8.9%). However, it included the gain on disposal of EUR 21.1 million from the sale of the Hug subgroup.

Net finance costs down, income taxes up, net income in negative territory
The Group's net finance costs fell to EUR -1.0 million in the first quarter of 2019 (Q1 2018: EUR -5.3 million) due to a substantial year-on-year increase in the net result from currency translation. At EUR 6.5 million, income tax expenses were slightly above prior-year's figure (Q1 2018: EUR 5.7 million). This is attributable to losses incurred by subsidiaries for which no deferred tax assets were recognizable.

After deducting income taxes, net income for the first quarter of 2019 stood at EUR -1.1 million (Q1 2018: EUR 26.4 million), while net income attributable to the shareholders of ElringKlinger AG amounted to EUR -1.5 million (Q1 2018: EUR 25.7 million). Earnings per share stood at EUR -0.02 (Q1 2018: EUR 0.41).

As Dr. Wolf explains, "Against the backdrop of weak markets and difficult business conditions, we were anticipating a sluggish start to the year, although obviously we are not happy with our bottom-line results. We will continue to press ahead with our optimization measures in order to implement the improvements we set out to achieve and have further intensified internal cost streamlining. However, one of the key prerequisites for our earnings performance in 2019 is that markets recover as predicted over the course of the year."

Guidance for fiscal 2019 confirmed
Despite the expected sluggish start to the year with regard to revenues in Europe and Asia as well as earnings, the order situation at the ElringKlinger Group remained robust in the first three months of 2019. Adjusted for currency effects, order intake rose by 0.5% to EUR 476.7 million (Q1 2018: EUR 474.2 million), while order backlog as of March 31, 2019, increased by 2.6% to EUR 1,054.1 million (Q1 2018: EUR 1,027.2 million). Against this background, the Group remains confident that it can outpace the expansion in global automobile production by 2 to 4 percentage points in terms of organic revenue growth. The coming quarters are expected to see an improvement in earnings performance, as planned, meaning that the EBIT margin range of around 4 to 5% before purchase price allocation, as targeted by the Group, will be achieved. Among the elements expected to support this are Group-wide cost streamlining, the stabilization of commodity prices, including tariffs, and positive effects from optimization measures. However, if these earnings projections are to be achieved, it is essential that no other external effects occur in the form of significant downside factors and that global markets recover noticeably in the second half of the year as expected.

Key financials for Q1 2019

EUR millionQ1 2019Q1 2018∆ abs.∆ rel.
Order intake498.3474.2+24.1+5.1%
Order backlog1,077.31,027.2+50.1+4.9%
Revenue441.1430.7+10.4+2.4%
of which FX effects  +5.5+1.3%
of which M&A  -6.2-1.4%
of which organic  +11.1+2.6%
EBIT before purchase price allocation6.938.4*-31.5-82.0%
EBIT margin before purchase price allocation (in %)1.68.9*-7.3PP-
Purchase price allocation0.51.0-0.5-
EBIT6.437.4*-31.0-82.9%
Net finance cost-1.0-5.3+4.3+81.1%
EBT5.432.1*-26.7-83.2%
Taxes on income-6.5-5.7-0.8-14.0%
Net income (after non-controlling interests)-1.525.7*-27.2>-100%
Earnings per share (in EUR)-0.020.41-0.43-
Investments (in property, plant, and equipment
and investment property)
28.829.4-0.6-2.0%
Operating free cash flow-19.3-23.3+4.0+17.2%
Net working capital606.4583.4+23.0+3.9%
Equity ratio (in %)40.944.9-4.0PP-
Net financial liabilities795.5625.1+170.4+27.3%
Employees (as of March 31)10,4859,618+867+9.0%

* Incl. gain from sale of Hug subgroup (EUR 21.1 million before taxes)

For further information, please contact:
ElringKlinger AG
Dr. Jens Winter
Strategic Communications
Max-Eyth-Straße 2
72581 Dettingen/Erms (Germany)
Phone: +49 7123 724-88335
Fax: +49 7123 724-85 8335
E-mail: jens.winter[at]elringklinger.com

About ElringKlinger AG
As an independent and globally positioned supplier, ElringKlinger is a powerful and reliable partner to the automotive industry. Be it passenger car or commercial vehicle, equipped with an optimized combustion engine, with hybrid technology, or with an all-electric motor - we offer innovative solutions for all types of drive system. In doing so, we are making a committed contribution to sustainable mobility. Our lightweighting concepts help to reduce the overall weight of vehicles. As a result, vehicles powered by combustion engines consume less fuel and emit less CO2, while those equipped with alternative propulsion systems benefit from an extended range. Developing cutting-edge battery and fuel cell technology as well as electric drive units, we were among the frontrunners when it came to positioning ourselves as a specialist in the field of e-mobility. At the same time, we are committed to evolving our sealing technology for a wide range of applications. Our shielding systems are designed to ensure high-end temperature and acoustics management throughout the vehicle. Dynamic precision parts developed by ElringKlinger can be used in all types of drive system. Additionally, the Group's portfolio includes engineering services, tooling technology, and products made of high-performance plastics, which are also marketed to industries beyond the automotive sector. These efforts are supported by a dedicated workforce of more than 10,000 people at 44 ElringKlinger Group locations around the globe.

Disclaimer
This release contains forward-looking statements. These statements are based on expectations, market evaluations and forecasts by the Management Board and on information currently available to them. In particular, the forward-looking statements shall not be interpreted as a guarantee that the future events and results to which they refer will actually materialize. Whilst the Management Board is confident that the statements as well as the opinions and expectations on which they are based are realistic, the aforementioned statements rely on assumptions that may conceivably prove to be incorrect. Future results and circumstances depend on a multitude of factors, risks and imponderables that can alter the expectations and judgments that have been expressed. These factors include, for example, changes to the general economic and business situation, variations of exchange rates and interest rates, poor acceptance of new products and services, and changes to business strategy.



07.05.2019 Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by DGAP - a service of EQS Group AG.
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

The DGAP Distribution Services include Regulatory Announcements, Financial/Corporate News and Press Releases.
Archive at www.dgap.de



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Press Release

ElringKlinger expands revenue in fiscal 2018 amid challenging business conditions

DGAP-News: ElringKlinger AG / Key word(s): Annual Results

27.03.2019 / 09:29
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.


ElringKlinger expands revenue in fiscal 2018 amid challenging business conditions

- Revenue up by 2.1% to EUR 1,699 million in 2018, organically by 7.4%

- EBIT before purchase price allocation (PPA) totals EUR 100 million: downside pressure from external and internal factors - EBIT margin before PPA at 5.9%

- Suspension of dividend agreed for 2018 financial year

- Focus on core business: sale of Swiss Hug Group and new enerday GmbH successfully concluded

- Guidance for 2019 confirmed

Dettingen/Erms (Germany), March 27, 2019 +++ Over the course of 2018, the ElringKlinger Group had to contend with a challenging business environment dominated by political and macroeconomic uncertainties, spiraling commodity prices, and internal capacity constraints. At the same time, the company continued to cement its strategic position in the area of alternative drive concepts in order to establish the best possible foundations for next-generation mobility. With a continued focus on its core business, ElringKlinger sold the Swiss Hug Group in 2018, thus divesting itself of an entity that specializes in exhaust gas purification. ElringKlinger also disposed of its interest in new enerday GmbH, a company based in Neubrandenburg, Germany, and will in future concentrate solely on low-temperature PEM fuel cells within the area of fuel cell technology; PEM fuel cells are of relevance to mobile applications. Another milestone in 2018 was the first series production contract for a complete battery system, for which the company is currently installing production lines.

CEO Dr. Stefan Wolf: "We at ElringKlinger were quick off the mark when it came to making preparations for an evolving automotive industry and we expect to generate strong growth in the coming years, particularly in the area of battery and fuel cell technology but also in the field of lightweight structural engineering. By 2030, the proportion of revenue generated from sales within these fields of strategic importance to the future is to rise from around 7% at present to over 25%."

Revenue target exceeded - EBIT impacted by external and internal factors
Based on definitive, audited figures, ElringKlinger managed to maintain its trajectory of growth in 2018, despite difficult market conditions. Group revenue increased by 2.1%, taking the figure to EUR 1,699.0 million (prev. year: EUR 1,664.0 million). Due to foreign exchange effects, particularly from the translation of the Turkish lira, Brazilian real, and US dollar into euro, revenues were diluted by 2.6%. M&A activities (sale of Hug and new enerday) also exerted downward pressure on revenue, equivalent to 2.7%. In organic terms, i.e., adjusted for these effects, the company managed to expand revenues by 7.4%, thus exceeding its target of outpacing growth in global vehicle production (-0.4%) by 2 to 4 percentage points on the basis of organic revenue growth.

Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) was impacted by high commodity prices. The substantial increase in material-related prices, primarily for steel, aluminum, and plastic, translated into additional expenses of around EUR 25 million in 2018. At the same time, demand within the NAFTA region remained high: in the fourth quarter of 2018 alone, currency-adjusted revenue increased by 28%, whereas the market as a whole expanded by just 1%. As a result, plants were operating at the top end of their capabilities in terms of capacity, leading to a disproportionately large increase in costs as well as exceptional cost items, e.g., for additional shifts, overnight freight forwarding, and external inspections. In order to optimize operations at the NAFTA-based plants, the Group successfully introduced improvement measures. These efforts, however, did not produce the effects on earnings to the extent anticipated for 2018. In total, EBIT before PPA fell short of the previous year's figure at EUR 100.2 million (prev. year: EUR 141.8 million). This corresponds to an EBIT margin, before PPA, of 5.9% (prev. year: 8.5%). The Group had originally projected a margin of around 7%. Of this total, the fourth quarter of 2018 accounted for revenue growth of 3.0% (organically +7.6%), taking the figure to EUR 431.8 million (prev. year: EUR 419.3 million), and EBIT before PPA of EUR 11.8 million (prev. year: EUR 30.7 million). The EBIT margin before PPA was 2.7% (prev. year: 7.3%).

Although net finance costs were down at EUR -14.7 million in fiscal 2018 (prev. year: EUR -27.3 million), earnings before taxes fell to EUR 81.4 million (prev. year: EUR 110.1 million). As income tax expenses failed to decrease at the same rate, net income (i.e., profit after taxes) stood at EUR 47.9 million (prev. year: EUR 73.8 million). Net income attributable to shareholders amounted to EUR 43.8 million (prev. year: EUR 69.9 million). Calculated on this basis, earnings per share stood at EUR 0.69, which was down on the prior-year figure of EUR 1.10.

Suspension of dividend
In view of the Group's earnings performance in fiscal 2018, the Management Board and the Supervisory Board have jointly decided to depart from the Group's established dividend policy and suspend the dividend for the 2018 financial year. This is aimed at further strengthening internal financing in support of the company's transformation process.

Investment ratio within target range at 9.6%
ElringKlinger maintained its disciplined approach to capital expenditure. The investment ratio (in property, plant, and equipment and in investment property) was 9.6% in 2018 (prev. year: 9.3%), i.e., within the target range of between 9 and 10% of Group revenue. Investments were directed primarily at the fields of business considered to be of particular importance to the future in strategic terms. A prime example is the Technology Center for electromobility currently being established at the Group's headquarters in Dettingen/Erms, the focus being on battery and fuel cell applications. The facility is expected to be operational in the first quarter of 2020.

Positive operating free cash flow in fourth quarter
Despite growth, capital absorption in net working capital (primarily inventories and trade receivables/payables) remained largely unchanged year on year in relation to revenue at 33.4% for 2018 as a whole (prev. year: 33.3%). In conjunction with lower earnings, this resulted in negative operating free cash flow of EUR -86.2 million (prev. year: EUR -66.6 million), despite a disciplined investment approach. In the fourth quarter the comparatively lower level of capital absorption within net working capital led to positive operating free cash flow of EUR 2.6 million (prev. year: EUR -13.3 million).

Improved maturity structure through syndicated loan
Net debt was expanded in the context of investing activities and was up at EUR 723.5 million at the end of the 2018 financial year (prev. year: EUR 655.3 million). However, with a solid equity ratio of 42.8% (prev. year: 44.0%), sufficient cash, and ample financial scope in the form of undrawn credit lines, the Group's financial situation remains solid. Furthermore, the syndicated loan agreement concluded in February 2019 for a sum of EUR 350 million over a term of at least 5 years has led to an improvement in the Group's maturity profile and provides a more solid foundation for corporate planning.

Guidance for 2019 confirmed
Looking ahead to 2019, Dr. Wolf said, "Given the fundamentals, the financial year ahead is also likely to produce a number of challenges. Precise forecasting has become more difficult due to the range of influencing factors."

The outlook for 2019, published on February 19, has been confirmed. According to the company's projections, global vehicle production will grow by between 0 and 1% in 2019 - with signs of seasonal divergence. Following a downturn in the first six months of the year, economists expect the second half to produce a positive performance. Group revenue is to exceed market growth by 2 to 4 percentage points in organic terms. Due to difficult market conditions, however, it is considered unlikely that downside factors (e.g., more pronounced trade conflicts or a market downturn in China) will be fully offset by the improvements in EBIT targeted by the Group. Additionally, the Group will no longer have the benefit of proceeds from the sale of Hug. In total, ElringKlinger's EBIT margin before PPA is expected to be around 4 to 5% in 2019. The investment ratio is to be pushed down to below 9% and net working capital is to be improved in relation to revenue. Based on these measures, operating free cash flow should be positive in 2019, while net debt in relation to EBITDA is to be scaled back. The Group has confirmed its medium-term targets.

Key financials for FY 2018 and Q4 2018

EUR millionFY 2018FY 2017∆ abs.∆ rel.Q4 2018Q4
2017
∆ abs.∆ rel.
Order intake1,735.31,732.0+3.3+0.2%390.7443.4-52.7-11.9%
Order backlog1,020.11,000.6+19.5+1.9%1,020.11,000.6+19.5+1.9%
Revenue1,699.01,664.0+35.0+2.1%431.8419.3+12.5+3.0%
of which FX effects  -44.0-2.6%  -1.7-0.4%
of which M&A  -44.8-2.7%  -17.6-4.2%
of which organic  +123.8+7.4%  +31.8+7.6%
EBITDA196.6238.4-41.8-17.5%37.855.9-18.1-32.4%
EBIT before PPA100.2141.8-41.6-29.3%11.830.7-18.9-61.6%
EBIT margin
before PPA (in %)
5.98.5-2.6PP 2.77.3-4.6PP 
PPA4.04.5-0.5-11.1%1.21.0+0.2+20.0%
EBIT96.2137.3-41.1-29.9%10.629.7-19.1-64.3%
Net finance cost-14.7-27.3+12.6+46.2%-3.3-8.0+4.7+58.8%
EBT81.4110.1-28.7-26.1%7.221.6-14.4-66.7%
Income taxes33.536.3-2.8-7.7%7.410.4-3.0-28.8%
Effective tax rate (in %)41.233.0+8.2PP >10048.0  
Net income
(after non-controlling interests)
43.869.9-26.1-37.3%-1.210.3-11.5<-100%
Earnings per share
(in EUR)
0.691.10-0.41-37.3%-0.020.16-0.18<-100%
Investments
(in property, plant,
and equipment and investment property)
163.5155.5+8.0+5.1%41.941.5+0.4+1.0%
Operating free cash flow-86.2-66.6-19.6-29.4%2.6-13.3+15.9>+100%
Dividend per share
(in EUR)
0.000.50-0.50-100.0%
ROCE (in %)5.58.2-2.7PP 
Net working capital568.0553.3+14.7+2.7%    
Equity ratio (in %)42.844.0-1.2PP     
Net financial liabilities723.5655.3+68.2+10.4%    
Employees
(as of Dec. 31)
10,4299,611+818+8.5%    
 

The annual report for 2018 is available online at: https://www.elringklinger.de/investor/2018-gb-en.pdf

For further information, please contact:
ElringKlinger AG
Dr. Jens Winter
Strategic Communications
Max-Eyth-Straße 2
72581 Dettingen/Erms (Germany)
Phone: +49 7123 724-88335
Fax: +49 7123 724-85 8335
E-mail: jens.winter[at]elringklinger.com

About ElringKlinger AG
As an independent and globally positioned supplier, ElringKlinger is a powerful and reliable partner to the automotive industry. Be it passenger car or commercial vehicle, equipped with an optimized combustion engine, with hybrid technology, or with an all-electric motor - we offer innovative solutions for all types of drive system. In doing so, we are making a committed contribution to sustainable mobility. Our lightweighting concepts help to reduce the overall weight of vehicles. As a result, vehicles powered by combustion engines consume less fuel and emit less CO2, while those equipped with alternative propulsion systems benefit from an extended range. Developing cutting-edge battery and fuel cell technology as well as electric drive units, we were among the frontrunners when it came to positioning ourselves as a specialist in the field of e-mobility. At the same time, we are committed to evolving our sealing technology for a wide range of applications. Our shielding systems are designed to ensure high-end temperature and acoustics management throughout the vehicle. Dynamic precision parts developed by ElringKlinger can be used in all types of drive system. Additionally, the Group's portfolio includes engineering services, tooling technology, and products made of high-performance plastics, which are also marketed to industries beyond the automotive sector. These efforts are supported by a dedicated workforce of more than 10,000 people at 45 ElringKlinger Group locations around the globe.

Disclaimer
This release contains forward-looking statements. These statements are based on expectations, market evaluations and forecasts by the Management Board and on information currently available to them. In particular, the forward-looking statements shall not be interpreted as a guarantee that the future events and results to which they refer will actually materialize. Whilst the Management Board is confident that the statements as well as the opinions and expectations on which they are based are realistic, the aforementioned statements rely on assumptions that may conceivably prove to be incorrect. Future results and circumstances depend on a multitude of factors, risks and imponderables that can alter the expectations and judgments that have been expressed. These factors include, for example, changes to the general economic and business situation, variations of exchange rates and interest rates, poor acceptance of new products and services, and changes to business strategy.



27.03.2019 Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by DGAP - a service of EQS Group AG.
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

The DGAP Distribution Services include Regulatory Announcements, Financial/Corporate News and Press Releases.
Archive at www.dgap.de



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Press Release

ElringKlinger announces preliminary results for fiscal 2018: visible revenue growth in challenging market environment; earnings affected by internal and external factors

DGAP-News: ElringKlinger AG / Key word(s): Preliminary Results/Dividend

19.02.2019 / 18:00
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.


ElringKlinger announces preliminary results for fiscal 2018:
visible revenue growth in challenging market environment; earnings affected by internal and external factors

- Revenue up by 2.0 % to EUR 1,697 million, organically by 7.3 %

- EBIT before purchase price allocation (PPA) at EUR 100.4 million, EBIT margin before PPA at 5.9 %

- Q4 2018: Revenue up by 2.5 %, organically by 7.1 %; EBIT of EUR 11.9 million before PPA, corresponding to margin of 2.8 %

- Management Board proposes suspension of dividend payment

- Guidance for 2019: organic revenue growth of 2 to 4 percentage points above global market growth, EBIT margin before PPA of 4 to 5%

Dettingen/Erms (Germany), February 19, 2019 +++ Based on preliminary, unaudited figures, the ElringKlinger Group saw a significant improvement in revenue during the financial year just ended. At EUR 1,697.0 million, revenue increased by EUR 33.0 million or 2.0 % in 2018, despite the dilutive effects of currency translation equivalent to EUR 44.0 million or 2.6 %. Additionally, the Group was faced with changes to the scope of consolidation as a result of M&A transactions (primarily the sale of Hug) totaling EUR 45.5 million or minus 2.7 %. Eliminating the effects of currencies and consolidation, the Group saw revenue expand by EUR 121.8 million or 7.3 % organically. Calculated on the basis of global automobile production, which declined by 0.4% in 2018, the Group saw its revenue outpace the market as a whole by 7.7 percentage points. Thus, the company has exceeded its target of outperforming market growth organically by 2 to 4 percentage points.

Group EBIT before purchase price allocation amounted to EUR 100.4 million, which corresponds to a margin of 5.9 %. The Group had originally anticipated an EBIT margin of around 7%. In the fourth quarter, too, several factors contributed to the lower-than-expected EBIT margin: in the NAFTA region, commodity prices were again impacted by tariffs on steel and aluminum, while prices for plastic granules remained high worldwide. The picture with regard to optimization measures implemented in the NAFTA region was mixed. Although the Group succeeded in further implementing improvement measures, these efforts have not yet produced the anticipated effects on earnings. In total, revenue generated in the fourth quarter of 2018 amounted to EUR 429.8 (419.3) million (+2.5 %, organically +7.1 %); EBIT before purchase price allocation stood at EUR 11.9 (30.7) million, which corresponds to a margin of 2.8 % (7.3 %).

Based on the Group's preliminary figures, the Management Board will put forward a proposal for a dividend suspension in respect of the 2018 financial year, the aim being to further strengthen internal financing for the Group's transformation process. Viewed in conjunction with the successful conclusion of a syndicated loan agreement for EUR 350 million, the Management Board is confident that this will pave the way for a visible improvement in the Group's financing structure in the short term.

As Dr. Stefan Wolf, CEO of ElringKlinger AG, explained: "Our goal remains to significantly strengthen the Group's earnings performance in the medium term in order to improve operating free cash flow in conjunction with measures planned in respect of working capital and the continued disciplined investment approach. In going forward, we will manage growth in our well-established areas of business in order to unlock the potential associated with strategic fields of the future."

The Group will take significant steps in this direction as early at the current financial year. Efforts aimed at cost streamlining in Switzerland will be completed in 2019 and measures implemented in the NAFTA region are expected to advance significantly. By contrast, the challenging economic climate, e.g., difficult market conditions in many regions of the world, political and economic volatility, and, in particular, the uncertain repercussions of increasingly severe trade disputes - especially with regard to commodity prices and vehicle-specific tariffs - may limit the earnings effect of the aforementioned measures.

As Dr. Wolf puts it, "Overall, global economic conditions have become more complex and uncertain compared to previous years. Forecasting has become increasingly difficult due to the range of influencing factors, which also applies to the current financial year."

Overall, the Group remains confident that, in 2019, it can outpace global automobile production by a significant margin calculated on the basis of revenue growth. ElringKlinger anticipates that it will outperform the market as a whole by 2 to 4 percentage points in terms of organic revenue growth. At present, global automobile production is expected to expand by 0 to +1 %. Despite the improvements in earnings, however, it is unlikely that the proceeds from the sale of Hug, which contributed to earnings in 2018, can be fully compensated for in fiscal 2019. Therefore, the Group is expecting to achieve an EBIT margin, before purchase price allocation, of 4 to 5 % for the 2019 financial year. Based on the range of measures implemented, the Group also anticipates that its cash flow situation can be decisively improved as early as 2019 - with the prospect of positive operating free cash flow. The Group has confirmed its medium-term targets.

ElringKlinger will publish its full and definitive results for the 2018 financial year on March 27, 2019.

For further information, please contact:
ElringKlinger AG
Dr. Jens Winter
Strategic Communications
Max-Eyth-Straße 2
72581 Dettingen/Erms (Germany)
Phone: +49 7123 724-88335
Fax: +49 7123 724-85 8335
E-mail: jens.winter[at]elringklinger.com

About ElringKlinger AG
As an automotive supplier, ElringKlinger has become a trusted partner to its customers - with a firm commitment to shaping the future of mobility. Be it optimized combustion engines, high-performance hybrids, or environmentally-friendly battery and fuel cell technology, ElringKlinger provides innovative solutions for all types of drive systems. ElringKlinger's lightweighting concepts help to reduce the overall weight of vehicles. As a result, vehicles powered by combustion engines consume less fuel and emit less CO2, while those equipped with alternative propulsion systems benefit from an extended range. In response to increasingly complex combustion engine technology, the Group also continues to make refinements with regard to gaskets in order to meet the highest possible standards. This is complemented by solutions centered around thermal and acoustic shielding technology. Additionally, the Group's portfolio includes products made of the high-performance plastic PTFE which are also marketed to industries beyond the automotive sector. These efforts are supported by a dedicated workforce of more than 10,000 employees at 45 ElringKlinger Group locations around the globe.

Disclaimer
This release contains forward-looking statements. These statements are based on expectations, market evaluations and forecasts by the Management Board and on information currently available to them. In particular, the forward-looking statements shall not be interpreted as a guarantee that the future events and results to which they refer will actually materialize. Whilst the Management Board is confident that the statements as well as the opinions and expectations on which they are based are realistic, the aforementioned statements rely on assumptions that may conceivably prove to be incorrect. Future results and circumstances depend on a multitude of factors, risks and imponderables that can alter the expectations and judgments that have been expressed. These factors include, for example, changes to the general economic and business situation, variations of exchange rates and interest rates, poor acceptance of new products and services, and changes to business strategy.



19.02.2019 Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by DGAP - a service of EQS Group AG.
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

The DGAP Distribution Services include Regulatory Announcements, Financial/Corporate News and Press Releases.
Archive at www.dgap.de



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