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Press Release

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%
Revenue1,624.41,480.4+144.0+9.7%406.1450.9-44.8-9.9%
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%
EBITDA216.1181.5+34.6+19.1%33.587.6-54.1-61.8%
EBIT102.027.7+74.3>100%3.625.2-21.6-85.7%
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%
EBT100.8-13.6+114.4>100%9.09.8-0.8-8.2%
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)
55.7-40.8+96.5>100%0.9-10.7+11.6>100%
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

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Press Release

Contract of CEO Dr. Stefan Wolf extended ahead of schedule, guidance for 2022 suspended

  • Early extension of contract of CEO Dr. Stefan Wolf for a further four years
  • Appointment of Theo Becker to the Management Board revoked as of March 31, 2022
  • Dividend of EUR 0.15 proposed for the 2021 financial year
  • Guidance for current financial year suspended due to highly uncertain and volatile business environment, especially as a result of the Russia-Ukraine conflict

 

Dettingen/Erms (Germany), March 24, 2022 +++ The Supervisory Board of ElringKlinger AG (ISIN DE 0007856023 / WKN 785602) passed several resolutions at its meeting held on March 24, 2022. In addition to resolving on personnel-related issues, it approved the dividend proposal submitted by the Management Board.

The contract of CEO Dr. Stefan Wolf was extended ahead of schedule by an additional four years until January 31, 2027. Shortly before the end of the contractual term, Dr. Wolf will have reached the age of 65. The previous contract was scheduled to expire on January 31, 2023. Dr. Wolf has been CEO of ElringKlinger AG since 2006. The resolution passed by the Supervisory Board is aimed at ensuring continuity at the helm of the Group.

At the same time, the Supervisory Board decided to remove Management Board member Theo Becker from the Management Board as of March 31, 2022, after many years of service. Theo Becker joined the company in 1994 and was appointed to the Management Board in 2006. His contract was due to expire on January 31, 2023. The other board members will assume responsibility for the duties performed by Theo Becker. In this context, Thomas Jessulat will be responsible for the Purchasing & Supply Chain Management corporate unit as well as for the Battery Technology and Drivetrain business units. The corporate units Real Estate & Facility Management, Product Risk Management, and Tooling Technology will in future form an integral part of Reiner Drews' Management Board portfolio.

The revocation of Theo Becker's appointment at this point in time is intended to provide early clarity with regard to the upcoming post-covid phase and the next stage of the transformation process that lies ahead. The Management Board will thus return to its original size of three members. To ensure a smooth transition, Reiner Drews had been appointed to the Management Board prior to the 2018 coronavirus pandemic.

In addition, the Supervisory Board approved the proposal submitted by the Management Board for the payment of a dividend of EUR 0.15 per share in respect of the 2021 financial year just ended. Both boards will submit this proposal to the Annual General Meeting, which will be held in a virtual format on May 19, 2022, against the current backdrop of the pandemic.

In addition, the Management Board again discussed the company's outlook for the current 2022 financial year. Taking into account multiple influencing factors, against the backdrop of the sharp rise in commodity, energy, and transportation costs, and in view of an expected organic increase in revenue at market level, the Group had anticipated an EBIT margin for the current 2022 financial year that was projected to be positioned slightly below the level recorded in the previous year. Due to the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, its intensity, and the uncertainties associated with both its future course and possible global repercussions, uncertainty is extremely high. 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. Overall, the Management Board has come to the conclusion that its original expectations, which will also be presented in the Annual Report, can no longer be maintained. Therefore, at this point in time, the Group is not in a position to provide a well-founded, reliable forecast for the 2022 financial year. The Management Board of ElringKlinger AG will closely monitor further developments and provide an outlook as soon as the general political and economic situation allows.

The Group will publish its full results and annual report for the 2021 financial year on March 29, 2022.

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Press Release

EKPO supplies fuel cell stacks for intralogistics vehicles

  • EKPO develops and supplies fuel cell stacks for Globe Fuel Cell Systems
  • Agreement includes cooperation in the development and production of a fuel cell powertrain for intralogistics applications based on the NM5-evo Stacks of EKPO
  • EKPO will exclusively take over series production and industrialization of the stacks after the development phase, which is scheduled to start after the planned market entry of the Globe XLP powertrain in early 2023
  • Term of the development and supply contract of initially four years

 

Dettingen/Erms (Germany), March 02, 2022 +++ EKPO Fuel Cell Technologies GmbH (EKPO) and Globe Fuel Cell Systems GmbH (Globe) have agreed on a development and supply contract for fuel cell stacks for intralogistics vehicle powertrains. Within this cooperation, EKPO will contribute its know-how on stack related periphery, their interfaces and the parameters for maximum efficiency and durability. EKPO will then exclusively supply the stack modules for Globe's fuel cell system, starting from 2023.

"The agreement with Globe again demonstrates that our fuel cell stacks have a wide range of potential applications. EKPO already has the installed capacity to produce fuel cell stacks industrially, which is critical to support ambitious and fast projects such as Globe's", says Julien Etienne, Chief Commercial Officer at EKPO Fuel Cell Technologies. "Our stack modules offer the best combination of power density, compact design and light weight in the market. This package makes EKPO a reliable and innovative partner."

The contract partner Globe is a young German green tech company from Stuttgart, which emerged from Mercedes-Benz's innovation division in 2020.There they develop modular and digitally networked fuel cell units for a wide range of applications such as intralogistics, the marine sector or stationary applications. "The partnership with EKPO allows us to achieve even more quality and speed in the development of our XLP series for the intralogistics market", comments Steffen Bäuerle, Managing Director at Globe. "It is great to work with a partner like EKPO from the region and thus drive our GreenTech approach - Made in Germany - with which we accompany the industry into a CO₂-neutral future."

The EKPO NM5-evo PEM Stack platform meets the customer's stringent requirements for a durable, compact fuel cell stack design while maintaining high power density. EKPO's stack family, demonstrate market benchmark values of above 6.0 kW/l in the cell block. The stack design also enables the best basis for scaling and modularization, allowing Globe's fuel cell system to be designed with maximum flexibility and efficiency.

EKPO, through its parent company ElringKlinger, has been developing and researching fuel cell technology for over 20 years. The high-performance and compact stacks are based on proton exchange membrane (PEM) technology and convert chemical energy into electrical energy using hydrogen and oxygen.

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Press Release

ElringKlinger presents preliminary results for fiscal 2021: strong EBIT margin and further reduction in debt

  • Organic revenue growth of 10.1% to EUR 1,624 million in 2021
  • EBIT at EUR 102.0 million; EBIT margin at 6.3%, up on prior-year level of 1.9%
  • Operating free cash flow again well into positive territory at EUR 72.0 million
  • Net financial liabilities scaled down by a further EUR 90 million in 2021; net debt/EBITDA at 1.7

 

Dettingen/Erms (Germany), February 25, 2022 +++ Based on preliminary, unaudited figures for 2021, ElringKlinger AG put in a successful performance in the financial year just ended. Compared to the previous year, the Group managed to lift revenue by 9.7% to EUR 1,624.4 million. Assuming constant exchange rates, revenue growth in the last twelve months amounted to EUR 150.2 million or 10.1%. According to the data service IHS, global automobile production expanded by 3.4% in the same period. The key contributors to the Group's revenue growth at a regional level were the Rest of Europe (EUR +65.4 million) and Asia-Pacific (EUR +50.6 million), but also North America (EUR +26.0 million), while revenue generated in Germany was down slightly at EUR -8.9 million.

The efficiency enhancement program that ElringKlinger has been pursuing since 2019 was again reflected in improved earnings in the financial year just ended. The Group recorded earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of EUR 102.0 million (2020: EUR 27.7 million), which corresponds to a margin of 6.3% (2020: 1.9%). The EBIT margin was thus at the upper end of the Group's guidance range - raised in October 2021 - of around 6% for the financial year. Alongside non-cash impairments, the previous year's final quarter had included the recognition of proceeds from a fuel cell partnership of around EUR 25 million.

Dr. Stefan Wolf, CEO of ElringKlinger AG, commented: "We are very satisfied with the 2021 financial year. Despite difficult underlying conditions such as semiconductor bottlenecks, supply chain problems, raw material shortages, and the coronavirus pandemic, we again significantly outpaced market growth in terms of revenue. Our earnings performance improved markedly, with an EBIT margin of 6.3%. Overall, we have thus fully achieved the goals of our three-year Management Board program - and even exceeded them in many areas. ElringKlinger is strongly positioned for the next stage of transformation that is now coming up."

The Management Board implemented the global efficiency enhancement program with the aim of strengthening profitability, consistently improving cash flow, and significantly reducing net financial liabilities. After a further reduction of EUR 90 million in 2021, the net debt ratio, i.e., net financial liabilities in relation to EBITDA, was 1.7 at the end of the financial year. This figure had been as high as 4.7 when the program was initiated in the first quarter of 2019.

In addition, numerous measures were implemented for the purpose of streamlining costs, optimizing net working capital, and ensuring the consistent generation of operating free cash flow, which amounted to EUR 72.0 million in the financial year just ended. At the same time, the Group continued to pursue a disciplined and focused investment approach, investing 4.3% of revenue in 2021 (2020: 3.9%) primarily in new drive technologies and lightweighting. In total, the Group has generated operating free cash flow of EUR 412.5 million over the last three years and more than halved net financial debt from EUR 795.5 million as of March 31, 2019, to EUR 369.2 million at the end of 2021.

The Group will present its full, audited results for the financial year just ended as well as its outlook for the current financial year as part of its 2021 annual report to be published on March 29, 2022.

Preliminary, unaudited figures for FY 2021 and Q4 2021

in Mio. EuroFY 2021FY 2020∆ abs.∆ rel.Q4 2021Q4 2020∆ abs.∆ rel.
Revenue1,624.41,480.4+144.0+9.7%406.1450.9-44.8-9.9%
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%
EBITDA216.1181.5+34.6+19.1%33.587.6-54.1-61.8%
EBIT102.027.7+743+>100%3.625.2-21.6-85.7%
EBIT-Marge (in %)6.31.9+4.4PP-0.95.6-4.7-
Investments (in property, plant, equipment
and investment property)
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%
Net working capital402.2402.8-0.6-0.1%    
Net Working Capital-Quote (in %)24.827.2-2.4PP-    
Net financial debt369.2458.8-89.6-19.5%    
Net financial debt/EBITDA1.72.5-0.8-32.0%    
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Press Release

Change in management at EKPO Fuel Cell Technologies

  • Armin Diez, formerly one of the three General Managers at EKPO Fuel Cell Technologies, left the company at his own request and for personal reasons as of December 31, 2021
  • Stefan Schmid, Chairman of the Management Board at ElringKlinger Kunststofftechnik GmbH, was appointed as his successor effective from February 1, 2022
  • Following the appointment of Stefan Schmid, the EKPO board of management that includes the two other general managers Dr. Gernot Stellberger and Julien Etienne is once again complete

 

Dettingen/Erms (Germany), February 21, 2022 +++ After more than 30 years with the ElringKlinger Group and on the board of management of EKPO Fuel Cell Technologies GmbH (EKPO), Armin Diez left the company at his own request and for personal reasons as of December 31, 2021. Having joined the ElringKlinger Group in 1990, he managed the Research and Development department of the Cylinder-head Gaskets division from 1999 onward. In 2005, he was appointed head of this division, while also assuming responsibility for Battery Technology as from 2011. In 2016, he was also entrusted with the management of the Fuel Cell Technology division, while relinquishing responsibility for the Cylinder-head Gaskets division. Upon the inception of EKPO in March 2021, he became one of three general managers of this entity.

Dr. Stefan Wolf, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of EKPO, said: "I would like to express my tremendous gratitude and appreciation to Armin Diez for his many years of commitment and his exceptional accomplishments. He brought his extensive knowledge and experience to bear in spearheading ElringKlinger's fundamental advances in battery technology and its fuel cell business. Most recently, he played a pivotal role during the founding stages of EKPO Fuel Cell Technologies in his capacity as General Manager. At the same time, I am delighted that we have found an experienced successor in Stefan Schmid, who leads ElringKlinger Kunststofftechnik in a highly accomplished manner as Chairman of the Management Board. With Stefan Schmid succeeding Armin Diez, EKPO continues to be very well positioned as it pursues its ambitions of further industrialization and the sustained cultivation of the global fuel cell market."

Stefan Schmid, born in 1965, can draw on many years of management experience and has been with the ElringKlinger Group since 2003. Having initially overseen production in what is now the Lightweighting/Elastomer Technology business unit, the qualified chemical engineer took over as Chairman of the Management Board of ElringKlinger Kunststofftechnik GmbH in 2012, where he is responsible for Production, IT, and Human Resources. During this time, the Stuttgart-born manager succeeded in expanding the Group's high-growth plastics business at a global level and implemented industrial-scale production both domestically and internationally.

The area of responsibility of Stefan Schmid, who took up his new post at EKPO on February 1, 2022, includes Production and IT as well as Quality and Sustainability Management. He thus joins the executive management team consisting of Dr. Gernot Stellberger, who is responsible for Strategy, Finance, Purchasing, Human Resources, and Advanced Development, and Julien Etienne, who oversees Sales, Marketing, Programs, and Product Engineering.

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