SAF-Holland: Positive development in first half-year

SAF-Holland has increased Group sales by €22.4 million to €440.3 million in the first half of 2012, achieving adjusted operating earnings of €28.9 million.

Especially North American activities underwent positive developments as sales increased by 13.0 per cent in that region. “North American fleet operators and trucking companies have started to make long overdue investments in their trucks and trailers – a development that is still to come for Europe,” Detlef Borghardt, CEO of SAF-Holland, said.

The North American market now generates 42.1 per cent of Group sales, Europe accounts for a further 51.6 per cent, and 6.3 per cent is attributable to other regions including the emerging BRIC countries.

Overall, the Group increased gross profit to €80.4 million in the first half of the year (previous year: €76.7 million). The gross margin was at 18.3 per cent (previous year: 18.4 per cent). The adjusted result for the period was also improved further and increased by nearly one-third to €15.6 million (previous year: €11.9 million).

The Trailer Systems Business Unit increased its half-year sales to €242.8 million (previous year: €241.8 million) and contributed 55.1 per cent to Group sales. The business especially grew in North America, where Trailer Systems benefited from a positive market environment as well as growing interest in axle and suspension systems from SAF-Holland. Gross profit increased disproportionately to sales: at €24.7 million, it exceeded the prior-year figure by 8.8 per cent (previous year: EUR 22.7 million). The gross margin increased from 9.4 to 10.2 percent.

Sales of the Aftermarket Business Unit, meanwhile, increased by 13.2 per cent in the first half of the year to €115.8 million (previous year: €102.3 million). As a result, the Business Unit had a share in Group sales of more than one-fourth for the first time. “In the course of our growth strategy, we aim to generate 30 per cent of total sales in the Aftermarket business on the mid-term. By exceeding the 25 per cent marker, we have reached an important milestone”, Wilfried Trepels, CFO, said. The Business Unit showed its strength as a source of earnings: with a gross margin of 37.7 per cent, gross profit increased by €3.4 million to €43.6 million.

Assuming that politicians succeed in managing the European sovereign debt crisis, SAF-Holland now expects continued positive business development. The positive development of the business in the first half of the year should continue in 2012; however, the second half of the year traditionally offers less potential due to plant vacation shutdowns of major customers. For the full-year 2012, the Company expects Group sales of approximately €850 million and a stable development of earnings. As compared to the previous year, this would correspond to growth in sales of more than two per cent or five per cent adjusted for the project that expired in 2011. Given the appropriate framework conditions, profitable growth is expected for 2013 as well.

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