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Press Release

ElringKlinger presents preliminary results for FY 2019: considerable success from efficiency program

  • Revenue up by 1.6% to EUR 1,727 million, organically by 0.5%
  • EBIT before purchase price allocation (PPA) at EUR 63.2 million, EBIT margin before PPA at 3.7%
  • Operating free cash flow at EUR 175.8 million, net debt down substantially at EUR 595.3 million
  • Q4 2019: revenue down by 2.8% to EUR 419.9 million, organically -4.0%; EBIT before PPA at EUR 24.8 million, resulting in EBIT margin of 5.9%
  • 2020 outlook to be presented with publication of annual report at end of March

 

Dettingen/Erms (Germany), February 19, 2020 +++ The preliminary, unaudited results of the ElringKlinger Group for the 2019 financial year point to the positive impact of the efficiency program launched at the beginning of 2019: the Group's operating free cash flow totaled EUR 175.8 million, which represents a year-on-year improvement of EUR 262.0 million. At the heart of this is a disciplined approach to capital expenditure on property, plant, and equipment as well as investment property. As planned, at EUR 92.2 million, this figure was markedly lower than in the previous year (EUR 163.5 million). At the same time, inventory management was consistently optimized and payment terms for trade payables were extended. The partial use of financial instruments also made it possible to reduce trade receivables, with the result that net working capital was scaled back significantly to EUR 423.5 million or 24.5% of revenue. In the previous year this ratio had stood at 33.4%.

As a consequence of the Group's strong operating free cash flow, net financial liabilities were driven back for the third consecutive quarter to EUR 595.3 million. Without the effect of the first-time application of IFRS 16 in 2019, this figure would have been down by a further EUR 46.7 million as of December 31. At 3.3, the Group thus also has a significantly better net debt/EBITDA ratio. At the end of the first quarter of 2019, this ratio had stood at 4.7.

As Dr. Stefan Wolf, CEO of ElringKlinger AG, explains: "In implementing our efficiency program, we have set the right levers to make the Group sustainably fit for the future. Operating free cash flow is well within positive territory, net debt has been noticeably reduced, and earnings have stabilized over the course of the year. We will continue to pursue this path consistently in the future."

In terms of earnings, the Group further improved on the previous year's quarter with a solid fourth quarter in 2019. With EBIT before purchase price allocation (PPA) totaling EUR 24.8 million, the figure is EUR 13.0 million higher than in Q4 2018. This performance was supported to some extent by the sale of an industrial park in Hungary, which resulted in other operating income of EUR 8.6 million and a cash inflow of EUR 21.6 million. After a difficult start, ElringKlinger showed signs of gradual improvement in earnings over the course of the year. In total, the Group recorded EBIT before PPA of EUR 63.2 million, which corresponds to a margin of 3.7%. The Group had anticipated a figure of around 4 to 5%.

In response Dr. Wolf explains: "Overall, our earnings performance was not satisfactory, but the host of measures aimed at cost streamlining did prove effective. Among other things, we managed to reduce the follow-up costs resulting from persistently strong demand in North America. We expect to see discernible earnings potential here in the current year. However, it remains to be seen to what extent external effects, such as the economic consequences of the coronavirus in China, will impact on business.

At EUR 1,727.0 million, Group revenue grew by EUR 28.0 million or 1.6% year on year in 2019 despite challenging market conditions. The effects of currency translation - primarily relating to the US dollar, but also the Mexican peso and the Swiss franc - made a significant contribution of EUR 25.1 million or 1.5%. Additionally, the Group was faced with changes to the scope of consolidation as a result of M&A transactions (from the sale of Hug in 2018) totaling EUR -6.2 million or -0.4%. Eliminating the effects of foreign exchange rates and consolidation, the Group saw revenue expand by EUR 9.1 million or 0.5% organically. Calculated on the basis of global automobile production, which declined by close to 6% in 2019, the Group saw its revenue outpace the market as a whole by more than 6 percentage points. Thus, the company exceeded its target of outperforming market growth by 2 to 4 percentage points in terms of organic sales.

ElringKlinger will publish its full and definitive results for the 2019 financial year as well as its outlook for the current financial year on March 30, 2020.

Preliminary, unaudited figures for FY 2019 and Q4 2019

EUR millionFY
2019
FY
2018
∆ abs.∆ rel.Q4
2019
Q4
2018
∆ abs.∆ rel.
Revenue1,727.01,699.0+28.0+1.6%419.9431.8-11.9-2.8%
of which FX effects  +25.1+1.5%  +5.3+1.2%
of which M&A  -6.2-0.4%  +0.0+0.0%
of which organic  +9.1+0.5%  -17.2-4.0%
EBITDA181.0196.6-15.6-7.9%57.437.8+19.6+51.9%
EBIT before purchase price allocation (PPA)63.2100.2-37.0-36.9%24.811.8+13.0>+100%
EBIT margin before PPA
(in %)
3.75.9-2.2PP 5.92.7+3.2PP 
Purchase price allocation1.94.0-2.1-52.5%0.41.2-0.8-66.7%
EBIT61.296.2-35.0-36.4%24.310.6+13.7>+100%
Investments (in property, plant, equipment and investment property)92.2163.5-71.3-43.6%17.441.9-24.5-58.5%
Operating free cash flow175.8-86.2+262.0<-100%65.72.6+63.1>+100%
Net working capital423.5568.0-144.5-25.4%    
Net financial liabilities595.3723.5-128.2-17.7%    
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Press Release

ElringKlinger's fuel cell exceeds expectations in EU-funded 'GiantLeap' project

  • Successful completion of multi-year, EU-sponsored project to develop and test fuel-cell-powered range extender for electric buses under real conditions
  • Excellent laboratory results of the fuel cells fully confirmed in a bus of Dutch bus manufacturer VDL Bus & Coach
  • No impairment to performance and operating stability of the stacks even under adverse conditions until the end of the project

 

Dettingen/Erms (Germany), February 5, 2020 +++ Fuel cell stacks developed by ElringKlinger AG have achieved excellent results as part of the EU-sponsored "GiantLeap" project. The stacks were fitted to a full-electric bus of the Dutch bus manufacturer VDL Bus & Coach, tested under real traffic conditions, and, in the course of that, subjected to adverse conditions. The overall performance of the stacks was safeguarded in when they were exposed to detrimental operating conditions such as fuel starvation, elevated temperatures and over-pressure, emergency shutdowns of the system during the development period, and human error. The final report of the multi-year project states: "The overall performance of the system exceeded expectations. [...] ElringKlinger stacks used in GiantLeap displayed an excellent performance throughout the project. [...] Still, right to the end of the project, the stacks were in their specified power range."

Armin Diez, Head of the Fuel Cell Technology business unit at ElringKlinger, says: "We greatly appreciate the successful completion of the project. It again confirms the excellent testing results of our fuel cell stacks in a real application environment. The basis for the implementation of the stack technology used in this project are patented design features and high-precision manufacturing processes, which have been developed from existing products that have already been manufactured in series for decades. This know-how makes our fuel cells a high-performance, efficient, and sustainable solution for our customers on their way to zero-emission mobility."

As part of the "GiantLeap" project, a total of six corporations and institutions developed and established a fuel-cell-powered range extender for full-electric buses as partners. The range extender includes a system with two stacks. The fuel cells were used in a separate trailer for the bus and tested in real traffic. The project was sponsored by the EU via the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU). The objective of the FCH JU is to promote research, technological development, and demonstration of fuel cells and hydrogen technology in Europe.

ElringKlinger has been active in the research and development of fuel cells for around 20 years and operates in the market as a system and component supplier. The stacks are based on PEM technology and convert chemical energy into electrical energy and water using hydrogen and oxygen. They are particularly suitable for mobile applications with long-range operation. Applications include buses and cars, but also industrial applications, such as commercial vehicles and industrial trucks.

Stacks from ElringKlinger for integration into customer systems are available with an electrical output of 2 to 150 kW. These reduce the complexity as well as the costs of the full system through the takeover of system functionalities by integrated peripheral components.

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.

About the FCH JU
The Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) is a unique public private partnership supporting research, technological development and demonstration (RTD) activities in fuel cell and hydrogen energy technologies in Europe. Its aim is to accelerate the market introduction of these technologies, realising their potential as an instrument in achieving a carbon-lean energy system. The three members of the FCH JU are the European Commission, fuel cell and hydrogen industries represented by Hydrogen Europe and the research community represented by the research grouping Hydrogen Europe Research.

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Press Release

ElringKlinger joins Hydrogen Council

Dettingen/Erms (Germany), January 15, 2020  +++  ElringKlinger AG has become a new member of the Hydrogen Council. The Hydrogen Council is a global initiative of energy, transport, and industry companies. It is committed to establishing hydrogen as a central energy source of the future. ElringKlinger will contribute to this initiative its long-standing expertise in the development of fuel cell components and stacks for mobile applications.

The Hydrogen Council was launched in 2017 at the World Economic Forum in Davos and brings together companies from various branches of industry and key markets around the globe. As the world's first initiative of this kind, the Hydrogen Council has set itself the goal of establishing hydrogen as one of the principal solutions in response to the energy transition. The interest group is looking to accelerate the use of hydrogen-based technologies and applications.

"Our admission to the Hydrogen Council is a testament to our many years of expertise relating to fuel cells," says Dr. Stefan Wolf, CEO of ElringKlinger AG. "Together with other member companies of the Hydrogen Council, we want to drive forward efforts to develop and market hydrogen-based mobility applications."

ElringKlinger has been active within the area of fuel cell technology for around 20 years and serves the market as both a component and a system supplier. The Group's focus is on low-temperature fuel cells (PEMFC). Combining the benefits of high power density and highly dynamic power supply, PEMFC stacks are the perfect choice for mobile applications and – in conjunction with a decentralized supply of hydrogen – they are already a viable option for today's mobility needs.

ElringKlinger PEMFC stacks designed for integration into customer systems are available with an electrical output of 2 to 150 kWel. Stacks with peripheral components and system functionalities integrated into the end plate module are also available as an option. These features enable considerable simplification and cost reduction with regard to the fuel cell system. They are suitable for use in both passenger cars and light commercial vehicles such as forklifts as well as buses and trucks.

Alongside its proprietary fuel cell stacks, ElringKlinger is acknowledged in particular for its innovative fuel cell components, including patented designs for metallic bipolar plates and plastic media modules that complement the product range.

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