Uniwheels 2013 revenues up 5.8 per cent to 338.3 million euros

OE sales up 12 per cent, resulting in more stabilised business

Leading wheelmaker Uniwheels Group reports that it managed to both increase revenues 5.8 per cent and stabilise the company’s overall business in full-year 2013 results published today (24 March 2014). According to the company, the business’s growth came largely thanks to the “very positive” development of the firm’s Automotive Division, which focuses on supplying the OEM business and grew 12 per cent in 2013. In addition, the successful implementation of cost-cutting measures in the administration of the business is also said to have had a positive impact.

Uniwheels’ 2013 group sales amounted to 338.3 million euros (2012: 319.8 million euros). In units sales this means Uniwheels increased volumes 7.9 per cent to 6.9 million wheels in the 2013 financial year (2012: 6.4 million wheels). Whilst the firm’s Accessory Division remained behind expectations due to the persistently high inventory levels of wheels held by trade customers and the general slowdown in demand by end customers in Europe, as we have seen, the OEM business faired much better and therefore unit sales were up to 600,000 wheels or 11.7 per cent of sales. Thus the ratio of the Automotive Division to the total sales of Uniwheels rose to 81.3 per cent or 5.6 million wheels. During the same period, market share is said to have increased to 10.9 per cent.

The operating Group EBITDA (adjusted for extraordinary items) improved by 15.3 Million euros or 77.7 per cent to 35.0 million euros compared to the previous year (2012: 19.7 million euros). Cost savings – especially in the administrative area – played their part in this especially in personnel costs and other operating expenses. Thus the ratio of personnel costs (personnel costs/total revenues) was reduced by 2.3 basis points to 16.6 per cent due to cost reduction and optimisation of the shift system of workers.

The material cost ratio (cost of materials/total revenues) also helped, declining by 1.4 basis points to 59.7 per cent, which was mainly due to lower aluminium prices, continuous measures to improve quality, increased efficiency in the production process and a favourable product mix.

Group investments during 2013 amounted to 7.1 million euros. This figure was lower than in previous years due to investments in capacity expansion, optimization of casting and conveyor systems as well as mechanical processing, further development of flow forming technology and surface engineering made in recent years. The investment ratio as the ratio of the capital expenditure to total sales was therefore 2.1 per cent (2012: 5.6 per cent).

Ralf Schmid, CEO of UNIWHEELS Group is very pleased with the business development: “Overall, we can look back at an extremely successful financial year 2013, in which we continuously improved our already excellent position as a long standing technology and development partner of European premium car manufacturers. We want to keep up this positive development in the financial year 2014. Moreover, we have introduced other specific measures to strengthen the accessory business. We are searching for earnings potentials by strengthening our efforts in other promising foreign markets, particularly in Eastern Europe, and by further optimisation of key account management. We achieved great improvements on the cost side and thus came closer to our goal of a sustainable double-digit EBITDA margin. Based on this we can now grow further and look optimistically into the new financial year”.

Further progress and investments planned

Looking forward, management expects further progress in 2014 based on “continuous increase of contracts in the OEM business and on stabilizing the sales in the accessories business”. In addition Uniwheels reports that it is planning further investments. These will be done mainly take place in direct manufacturing and will result from the planned capacity expansion. Sales of wheels are expected to grow by 4 per cent in 2014; and consolidated sales are expected to grow 10 per cent thanks to better product mix.

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