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Press Release

Professor Walter H. Lechler passed away

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

18.05.2018 / 12:28
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.


Professor Walter H. Lechler passed away

Dettingen/Erms (Germany), May 18, 2018+++ The long-time Chairman of the Supervisory Board of ElringKlinger AG, Professor Walter Herwarth Lechler, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on Thursday, May 17, 2018, at the age of 75. The day before his death he had attended the Annual General Meeting of the Group and exercised the voting rights of the Lechler family.

"The news of Professor Lechler's passing has filled us with tremendous sadness," says Klaus Eberhardt, Lechler's successor as Chairman of the Supervisory Board. "In him ElringKlinger has lost a seminal father figure. The idea of corporate responsibility was always of paramount importance to him, which fundamentally also included social aspects. Our thoughts are with his wife and his family."

Professor Lechler was the son of a Stuttgart-based family of merchants and was himself an entrepreneur throughout his lifetime. In 1972, following his studies in business administration in the United States and Cologne, he became a member of the shareholder committee of the company then known as Elring GmbH. In 1989 he was appointed chairman of that committee. He sat on the Supervisory Board of ElringKlinger AG and its predecessor company ZWL Grundbesitz- und Beteiligungs-AG from 1976 onward, as from 2012 as its Chairman. Having stepped down from the Supervisory Board in May 2017 on the grounds of age, he was elected as its Honorary Chairman. One month later the Evangelische Hochschule Ludwigsburg (Protestant University of Applied Sciences) made him an Honorary Professor. Additionally, he held the position of managing partner of Lechler GmbH, Metzingen, from 1976 onward.

"Alongside his deep entrepreneurial conviction and his exceptional social commitment, I was particularly impressed by his astute ability to focus on that which was essential," says Dr. Stefan Wolf, CEO of ElringKlinger AG. "With his calm mindset, he examined complex issues in a perceptive and well-judged manner even during hectic times in order to arrive at solutions of long-term merit. In doing so, he became a role model for me and for many others within and beyond the company. He will be sorely missed by the ElringKlinger family and by me personally."

While the death of Walter H. Lechler is tragic news for ElringKlinger AG, it will not lead to any significant changes. As the head of his family, he made provisions for his estate well before his death. The ownership interest of 22 % in ElringKlinger AG, which Walter H. Lechler held himself up to his death, will be transferred to the family trust that had been founded by his uncle Klaus Lechler upon his death. Thus, in future the trust will hold, either directly or indirectly, 52 % of the interests in ElringKlinger AG. The aim of the trust is to ensure the ongoing development of ElringKlinger AG as a company.

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 9,600 employees at 45 ElringKlinger Group locations around the globe.



18.05.2018 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.

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Press Release

Annual General Meeting approves dividend of EUR 0.50 per share

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

16.05.2018 / 15:30
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.


Annual General Meeting approves dividend of EUR 0.50 per share

- Dividend volume remains stable year on year at EUR 31.7 million;
dividend ratio improves to 45.3%

- Actions of Management Board and Supervisory Board approved by a large
majority in both cases

- Review 2017 and outlook 2018: key strategic milestones for future business development

Stuttgart, Dettingen/Erms (Germany), May 16, 2018 +++ The shareholders of ElringKlinger AG approved a dividend of EUR 0.50 per share for the 2017 financial year at the company's Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Stuttgart. The dividend payment is to be completed on May 22, 2018, the third business day subsequent to the resolution passed by the AGM. All investors holding shares in ElringKlinger AG on May 16, 2018, are entitled to a dividend.

As part of his review of 2017, CEO Dr. Stefan Wolf looked back on a financial year that included important strategic milestones with regard to future business development. "In taking these strategic steps, we have brought the Group further in line with the mobility market of the future. With a product portfolio that includes high-performance fuel cell systems as well as battery systems and complete electric drive units, ElringKlinger is well prepared for the dynamic transition facing the automotive industry," said Dr. Stefan Wolf.

Among the key events for ElringKlinger during the 2017 financial year were the investment in the hofer Group transacted in February and March, the placement in July of a Schuldscheindarlehen (loan granted to the company against a form of promissory note) - covering a total volume of EUR 200 million - for the first time in its corporate history, the signing of a cooperation agreement with Chinese battery manufacturer CITC in November, and an understanding reached in December for the sale of the Hug Group.

In March 2018 the Supervisory Board of ElringKlinger AG made a number of other far-reaching decisions. Effective from April 1, 2018, a new area of Management Board responsibility - covering the field of e-mobility - was introduced under the supervision of Theo Becker. At the same time, Reiner Drews, who had previously been responsible for the Cylinder-head Gaskets and Specialty Gaskets divisions, was appointed to the Management Board. As successor to Theo Becker, he became the Group's new COO. Furthermore, the Supervisory Board extended the contract of CFO Thomas Jessulat by five years as from January 1, 2019, i.e., until the end of December 2023.

In addition to charting its strategic course, ElringKlinger again saw its business grow significantly at an operational level in fiscal 2017. Group revenue expanded by 6.8% to EUR 1,664 million, while earnings before interest and taxes totaled EUR 137.3 (135.2) million. In terms of ElringKlinger's bottom-line result, however, the positive effects of revenue growth were offset by adverse factors over the course of the year, such as rising commodity prices, additional costs due to the introduction of SAP at a Swiss subsidiary, and follow-on costs associated with consistently high volumes ordered by customers in the NAFTA region as part of their production scheduling. As a result, net income attributable to shareholders fell to EUR 69.9 (78.6) million.

The shareholders of ElringKlinger AG approved by a majority of 99.96% the proposal put forward by the Management Board and Supervisory Board for a dividend of EUR 0.50 (0.50) per share for fiscal 2017, unchanged on the previous financial year. The total distribution will thus remain stable year on year at EUR 31.7 million. The dividend ratio is up at 45.3% (40.3%), i.e., in excess of the Group's dividend policy, as part of which between 30 and 40% of Group net income after non-controlling interests shall be distributed.

As regards fiscal 2017, the AGM approved the actions of the Management Board members with 93.88% and the actions of the Supervisory Board members with 76.92% of the votes. Ernst & Young GmbH Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft was appointed as the auditor for the financial year 2018.

The AGM, held at the Stuttgart Culture and Congress Center, was attended by around 800 shareholders and guests. In total, 71.52% 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 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 9,600 employees at 45 ElringKlinger Group locations around the globe.



16.05.2018 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 records organic growth of 5.4% in first quarter

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

14.05.2018 / 07:29
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.


ElringKlinger records organic growth of 5.4% in first quarter

- First-quarter revenue down 0.6% year on year in 2018 at EUR 431 million due to
currency effects but up 5.4% in organic terms

- EBIT margin of 8.9% before purchase price allocation

- Earnings figures include gain on disposal of Hug Group, which was deconsolidated effective from March 1, 2018

- Guidance for 2018 confirmed

Dettingen/Erms (Germany), May 14, 2018 +++ ElringKlinger AG matched its prior-year performance with regard to both revenue and earnings in the first quarter of 2018. At EUR 430.7 million, revenue was slightly lower than in the same quarter a year ago. However, this was influenced to some extent by the absence of revenue from the Hug Group in March 2018, an entity that was deconsolidated effective from March 1, 2018. As regards the scope of consolidation, revenue contributions from the subsidiary hofer powertrain products GmbH, included in the consolidated group for the first time in February 2017, also have to be taken into consideration. In total, the effects on revenue from changes to the scope of consolidation were equivalent to EUR -4.2 million.

Additionally, the direction taken by foreign exchange rates had a dilutive effect on revenue, primarily in respect of the US dollar, the Swiss franc, and the Brazilian real. Calculated on the basis of stable exchange rates and taking into account the above-mentioned changes in the scope of consolidation, the Group saw revenue grow by 5.4% or EUR 23.2 million. On the basis of organic revenue growth, therefore, ElringKlinger significantly outperformed the automotive industry in terms of global vehicle production, which trended sideways to slightly lower year on year.

"The Group's strong revenue growth again illustrates how innovative and marketable our products are," concludes Dr. Stefan Wolf, CEO of ElringKlinger AG. "The same applies to our order book situation, taking currency effects into account: our order intake has grown yet again. Our order backlog is actually up by as much as 8.9% compared to the first quarter of 2017, and at more than EUR 1 billion it has reached a new all-time high."

Quarterly earnings reported by ElringKlinger also include a EUR 21.1 million gain on disposal of the Hug Group. This positive effect on profit was offset to some extent by several internal and external influencing factors: the rise in prices for key commodities such as aluminum and steel had a dilutive effect on earnings, as did the follow-on costs associated with unexpectedly high volumes ordered by customers in the NAFTA region as part of their production scheduling. In Switzerland, meanwhile, operational relocations largely progressed as planned. While finance costs rose to EUR 5.3 million, influenced to some extent by currency effects, net income for the period (after non-controlling interests) and earnings per share were both slightly up on the prior-year figures at EUR 25.7 (25.1) million and EUR 0.41 (0.40) respectively.

Given its solid order intake and backlog, 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. Turning to earnings, the first quarter of 2018 has seen no improvement in regard to exogenous factors influencing the current financial year. Commodity prices continue to rise and will again exert downward pressure on Group earnings in the current financial year. Additionally, it is impossible to rule out higher costs attributable to the introduction of tariffs. At the same time, the Group is committed to implementing optimization measures at its Swiss site as planned and streamlining cost structures associated with the sizeable volumes ordered by customers in the NAFTA region as part of their production scheduling. Taking these factors into consideration, too, the Group at present continues to anticipate that it will achieve an EBIT margin (before purchase price allocation) of around 9% in the current financial year, despite the fact that general conditions as a whole remain challenging.

EUR millionQ1 2018Q1 2017∆ abs.∆ rel.
Order intake474.2494.3-20.1-4.1%
Order backlog1,027.2993.5+33.7+3.4%
Revenue430.7433.3-2.6-0.6%
of which FX effects  -21.6-5.0%
of which acquisitions  -4.2-1.0%
of which organic  +23.2+5.4%
EBIT before purchase price allocation38.4*39.1-0.7-1.8%
EBIT margin before purchase price allocation (in %)8.9*9.0-0.1PP-
Purchase price allocation1.01.2-0.2-
EBIT37.4*37.9-0.5-1.3%
Net finance cost-5.3-3.4-1.9-55.9 %
EBT32.134.5-2.4-7.0%
Taxes on income-5.7-8.5+2.8+32.9%
Effective tax rate (in %)17.924.7-6.8PP-
Net income (after non-controlling interests)25.725.1+0.6+2.4%
Earnings per share (in EUR)0.410.40+0.01-
Investments (in property, plant, and equipment)29.429.6-0.2-0.7%
Operating free cash flow-23.3-11.6-11.7>-100.0%
Net working capital583.4572.9+10.5+1.8%
Equity ratio (in %)44.946.3-1.4PP-
Net financial liabilities625.1581.1+44.0+7.6%
Employees (as of March 31)9,6188,738+880+10.1%

* Incl. gain from sale of Hug subgroup


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 9,600 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.



14.05.2018 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 supplies battery systems for solar vehicle made by Sono Motors

DGAP-News: ElringKlinger AG / Key word(s): Incoming Orders

09.05.2018 / 08:02
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.


ElringKlinger supplies battery systems for solar vehicle made by Sono Motors

- Contract secured for development and production of battery systems for all-electric solar vehicle made by German mobility company Sono Motors

- Overall volume of several hundred million euros over scheduled period of eight years

- Battery systems to be produced at an ElringKlinger site in Germany

- Start of series production planned for second half of 2019

Dettingen/Erms (Germany), May 9, 2018 +++ ElringKlinger AG has secured a high-revenue contract within the area of battery technology from Munich-based company Sono Motors. The purpose of the agreement is to develop and produce complete battery systems for a fully electric solar vehicle. The purchase order covers a total volume of several hundred million euros over a period of eight years. The start of series production is scheduled for the second half of 2019.

"In securing this contract, we managed to convince a next-generation vehicle manufacturer of the innovation and performance offered by our battery technology," says CEO Dr. Stefan Wolf. "ElringKlinger will develop and produce a battery system at one of its domestic plants. This is an important statement of intent for Germany as a business location."

Sono Motors is pursuing an entirely new approach when it comes to its all-electric drive concept. The vehicle it has developed, the Sion, is positioned within the budget segment of the market and is targeted primarily at customers in urban areas. Its battery can be recharged either via the power supply grid or by means of solar cells integrated into the bodywork of the vehicle. This provides the basis for CO2-neutral driving. What is more, the battery is also designed to provide energy - turning the car into a "mobile power station." The battery system supplied by ElringKlinger is to allow an actual range of 250 km. The vehicle is to be launched onto the market in the second half of 2019.

ElringKlinger plans to use a new fully automated production line for the manufacture of this battery system. The battery system developed by ElringKlinger features a modular design, which provides greater flexibility when it comes to incorporating specific client requirements. It will be based on a 48 V module that is capable of producing aggregate system voltages of up to 800 V. The modules, which include components such as the cell housing and the cell contact system, are controlled by a battery management system that monitors the voltage and the temperature of the individual battery cells, in addition to ensuring effective power supply. Featuring the battery modules and the battery management system, the purchase order covers an end-to-end battery system.

ElringKlinger has been mass-producing components for lithium-ion batteries, such as cell contact systems and module connectors, since 2011. They are used in various hybrid and battery-powered vehicles. In addition, the Group develops and manufactures complete battery modules and systems as well as aggregate energy storage units.


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 9,600 employees at 45 ElringKlinger Group locations around the globe.



09.05.2018 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 maintains strong growth during fiscal year with key strategic milestones

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

27.03.2018 / 09:32
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.


ElringKlinger maintains strong growth during fiscal year with key strategic milestones

- Revenue grows substantially by 6.8% to EUR 1,664 million and by as much as 8.1% in organic terms

- EBIT before purchase price allocation up slightly year on year at EUR 142 million; EBIT margin of 8.5% before purchase price allocation

- Proposed dividend stable at EUR 0.50

- Key strategic milestones: closing of transaction for investment in hofer, cooperation agreement with Chinese battery manufacturer CITC, sale of Hug Group agreed

- Guidance for 2018: organic revenue growth of 2 to 4 percentage points above market growth; EBIT margin before purchase price allocation around 9%

- New dedicated Management Board role for E-Mobility as of April 1, 2018

Dettingen/Erms (Germany), March 27, 2018 +++ Over the course of the 2017 financial year, ElringKlinger AG achieved a number of important strategic milestones for the sustained development of its business. In February and March, a transaction covering its investment in the hofer Group was formally concluded. As a result, the ElringKlinger Group now produces complete electric drive systems, primarily for the premium sports and luxury car segment. Within the area of battery technology, ElringKlinger signed a cooperation agreement in November with Chinese battery manufacturer CALB via that entity's parent company CITC. Together, the focus will be on supplying battery systems to automotive markets around the globe. Additionally, ElringKlinger reached an agreement in December with a major French automotive supplier covering the sale of Hug Engineering AG. This divestment will allow ElringKlinger to concentrate fully on efforts to further develop its e-mobility business.

As CEO Dr. Stefan Wolf pointed out: "In implementing these strategic measures, we have brought the Group further in line with the mobility market of the future. Thus, ElringKlinger's product portfolio includes high-performance fuel cell systems as well as battery systems and complete electric drive units." The Group's prospects are outstanding in all these areas. "We are currently working on a string of projects covering all of these fields, and there is significant potential with regard to new drive technologies," said Dr. Wolf.

Strong growth in revenue
ElringKlinger AG again recorded strong revenue growth in the fourth quarter of 2017. Compared with the particularly solid final quarter of 2016, the Group managed to lift its sales revenue by a further 3.0% in the last three months of 2017, taking the quarterly total to EUR 419.3 (407.2) million. Against this backdrop, revenues totaled EUR 1,664.0 million in the 2017 financial year as a whole. This corresponds to a year-on-year increase of 6.8%. Taking into account the effects of foreign exchange movements and acquisitions, organic growth was as much as EUR 126 million or 8.1% in the financial year just ended.

EBIT up slightly year on year
At EUR 141.8 million, EBIT before purchase price allocation was slightly up on the previous year's figure (EUR 140.4 million). This corresponds to an EBIT margin of 8.5 (9.0)%. The Group benefited from the favorable effects of revenue growth as well as cost streamlining at the Swiss site in Sevelen. However, these positive contributions to earnings were almost completely offset by additional costs incurred in connection with the implementation of a Group-wide ERP system in Sevelen, the visible increase in commodity prices, and the follow-on costs associated with consistently high volumes ordered by customers in the NAFTA region as part of their production scheduling.

As became evident over the course of the year, the impact of foreign exchange movements on net finance costs, which stood at EUR 27.3 (11.5) million, also had a dilutive effect on Group earnings. With lower income tax expenses of EUR 36.3 (41.5) million and a slight reduction in non-controlling interests of EUR 3.9 (4.1) million, net annual income attributable to shareholders totaled EUR 69.9 (78.6) million. Calculated on this basis, earnings per share stood at EUR 1.10, which was down on the prior-year figure of EUR 1.24.

Proposed dividend payment remains stable
A fundamental principle adopted by ElringKlinger is to provide shareholders with an appropriate return on their investment. In keeping with this policy, the Supervisory Board and Management Board will jointly propose to the Annual General Meeting, scheduled for May 16, 2018, a stable dividend payment of EUR 0.50 per share. The dividend ratio will therefore improve to 45 (40)%.

Highly successful placement of Schuldscheindarlehen
The Group's key performance indicators with regard to its balance sheet remain solid. Its equity ratio was 44.0 (47.2)% at the end of the financial year, which is still well within the target range of 40 to 50% of total assets.

Furthermore, the financial year just ended saw the Group complete the very first placement of a Schuldscheindarlehen (loan granted to the company against a form of promissory note) in its corporate history. Due to strong demand, the issue volume originally planned was doubled to EUR 200 million; the average interest rate is 1.23%. The cash proceeds were used for the purpose of extinguishing existing liabilities. The Schuldscheindarlehen replaces the overnight maturities of short-term liabilities with maturities of five, seven, and ten years, thus considerably improving the Group's overall debt maturity structure.

Capex ratio scaled back substantially, operating free cash flow down year on year
At 9.3%, the capex ratio (capital expenditure on property, plant, and equipment and on investment property) for the 2017 financial year was well below the prior-year figure of 11.0%. Despite a disciplined approach, ElringKlinger put in place key measures over the course of the year and made targeted investments for future growth. In Fremont, USA, for example, a new production facility was equipped for the manufacture of lightweight structural components. At the same time, a new plant was built at the Hungarian site in Kecskemét, which will focus on the production of door module carriers and shielding parts. Last but not least, a new logistics building commenced operations at the company's headquarters in Dettingen/Erms.

As regards working capital, the Group initiates and continuously implements measures aimed at optimizing procurement processes and inventory levels, while also actively controlling trade payables. Overall, net working capital amounted to EUR 553.3 (524.6) million, which corresponds to 33.3% of Group revenue. Due to the Group's earnings performance and the level of net working capital, and despite a disciplined capex approach, its operating free cash flow has not improved. Instead, as expected, operating free cash flow was down on the prior-year figure at EUR -66.6 (-3.8) million.

Outlook: industry operating in a challenging environment - ElringKlinger anticipates sustained growth
Looking to the future, the level of global uncertainty in recent months has become more pronounced. National interests are becoming more widespread, thereby undermining the position of multinational institutions and eroding trade agreements. At the same time, tariffs or barriers to entry pose a threat to free trade. Meanwhile, the automotive industry is having to contend with stricter emission standards - a genuine challenge for the sector as a whole. Additionally, ongoing debate surrounding an inner-city ban on diesel-powered vehicles as well as recent court judgments and a wave of new accusations against manufacturers or suppliers are causing uncertainty among consumers. The result is a challenging industry backdrop exposed to a number of influencing factors. Operating within this environment, it is increasingly difficult to make projections that go beyond a short-term horizon.

Given its very solid order books and its extensive portfolio of innovative products, the Group remains confident that it can outpace growth within the global automotive market in the short and in the medium term. For 2018, ElringKlinger expects to expand at a rate that is 2 to 4 percentage points above global market growth. Industry experts predict global market growth of between 1.9 and 4.3%, while ElringKlinger's projections point to growth of 2 to 3%.

Projected revenue growth - together with further cost streamlining at the Swiss site - will have a positive impact on earnings, while elevated commodity prices and consistently strong demand in the NAFTA region will have a dilutive effect on earnings. Overall, ElringKlinger is targeting an EBIT margin before purchase price allocation of around 9%. In the medium term, the Group will be looking to achieve a step-by-step improvement in profitability.

New dedicated Management Board role for E-Mobility
ElringKlinger recently confirmed its strong strategic commitment to electromobility in organizational terms, too, by creating a dedicated function within the Management Board for the areas of battery technology and fuel cell technology as well as for the integration of its hofer investees. Former Chief Operating Officer Theo Becker will assume overall responsibility for this future-looking field of business as from April 1, 2018. At the same time, Reiner Drews, who has until now headed the Cylinder-head Gaskets and Specialty Gaskets divisions, will take up the role of Chief Operating Officer.

In addition, at its recent meeting the Supervisory Board extended by five years, i.e., up to January 31, 2023, the contract of Chief Financial Officer Thomas Jessulat.

EUR millionFY 2017FY 2016∆ abs.∆ rel.Q4 2017Q4 2016∆ abs.∆ rel.
Order intake1,732.01,693.7+38.3+2.3%443.4444.9-1.5-0.3%
Order backlog1,000.6932.5+68.1+7.3%1,000.6932.5+68.1+7.3%
Revenue1,664.01,557.4+106.6+6.8%419.3407.2+12.1+3.0%
of which FX effects  -28.7-1.8%  -16.9-4.2%
of which acquisitions  +9.3+0.6%  +2.0+0.5%
of which organic  +126.0+8.1%  +27.1+6.7%
EBITDA238.4231.2+7.2+3.1%55.964.5-8.6-13.3%
EBIT before purchase price allocation141.8140.4+1.4+1.0%30.739.5-8.8-22.3%
EBIT margin before purchase price allocation (in %)8.59.0-0.5PP-7.39.7-2.4PP-
Purchase price allocation4.54.8-0.3-1.01.1-0.1-
EBIT137.3135.6+1.7+1.3%29.738.4-8.7-22.7%
Net finance result-27.3-11.5-15.8>-100%-8.01.0-9.0>-100%
EBT110.1124.1-14.0-11.3%21.639.4-17.8-45.2%
Income taxes36.341.5-5.2-12.5%10.418.1-7.7-42.5%
Effective tax rate (in %)33.033.4-0.4PP-48.045.9+2.1PP-
Net income
(after non-controlling interests)
69.978.6-8.7-11.1%10.319.7-9.4-47.7%
Earnings per share (in EUR)1.101.24-0.14-11.3%0.160.31-0.15-48.4%
Dividend per share (in EUR)0.50*0.50+0.0-    
Investments (in property, plant, and equipment)155.5171.3-15.8-9.2%    
Operating free cash flow-66.6-3.8-62.8>-100%    
ROCE (in %)8.28.7-0.5PP-    
Net working capital553.3524.6+28.7+5.5%    
Equity ratio (in %)44.047.2-3.2PP-    
Net financial liabilities655.3538.8+116.5+21.6%    
Employees (as of Dec. 31)9,6118,591+1,020+11.9%    

* Proposal to 2018 AGM
 

For further information, please contact:
ElringKlinger AG
Dr. Jens Winter
Investor Relations / Corporate PR
Max-Eyth-Straße 2
D-72581 Dettingen/Erms
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 9,600 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.



27.03.2018 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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