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The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation

HELLA largely recovers pandemic-related losses in fiscal year 2020/2021 and significantly improves sales and earnings

Date: Thursday 19 August 2021

HELLA GmbH & Co. KGaA recently presented its annual report for the fiscal year 2020/2021 (1 June 2020 to 31 May 2021), and at the same time confirmed the preliminary figures already published. The international automotive supplier increased its currency and portfolio-adjusted consolidated sales by 13.3 percent to € 6.5 billion in the past fiscal year (previous year: € 5.7 billion). Reported sales increased by 9.4 percent to € 6.4 billion (previous year: € 5.8 billion), taking into account the effects of exchange rates and portfolio changes.

The adjusted earnings before interest and taxes (adjusted EBIT) more than doubled to € 510 million (previous year: € 227 million) as a result of the significant improvement in business development and continued strict cost management; the adjusted EBIT margin was accordingly 8.0 percent (previous year: 4.0 percent). Taking into account special effects, the reported EBIT, amounted to € 454 million (previous year: € -343 million). In the previous year, the value was additionally burdened by unscheduled non-cash impairments. The reported EBIT margin rose to 7.1 percent in the past fiscal year (previous year: -5.9 percent).

With these results, HELLA is at the upper end of the forecast ranges raised in December 2020. On this basis, the company management will propose a dividend payment of € 0.96 per share at the Annual General Meeting on 30 September 2021.

"The past fiscal year was characterised by numerous challenges and efforts. Nevertheless, we have stood our ground well even in this challenging environment and closed the year successfully overall," says HELLA CEO Dr. Rolf Breidenbach. "Above all, we have largely made up for the economic consequences of the pandemic and at the same time acquired a lot of new business for the future on the basis of our innovative product portfolio."

Automotive segment grows faster than the global automotive market
Sales in the Automotive segment rose by 11.6 percent to € 5.5 billion in the past fiscal year (previous year: € 5.0 billion). The segment thus again outperformed the global automotive market, which grew by only 10.0 percent. Sales growth was driven primarily by the high demand for innovative lighting and electronics solutions. The segment's EBIT improved to € 393 million (previous year: € 160 million) as a result of increased production volumes and ongoing cost management. The EBIT margin thus increased to 7.1 percent (previous year: 3.2 percent).

Good development in the independent aftermarket stimulates Aftermarket business
Sales in the Aftermarket segment grew by 7.3 percent to € 504 million in the past fiscal year (previous year: € 470 million). This is due in particular to the good sales performance of the independent aftermarket business in Europe. The segment's EBIT improved to € 68 million (previous year: € 46 million). The EBIT margin therefore comes to 13.4 percent (prior year: 9.7 percent). The main factors behind the improvement in earnings were higher business shares with software licenses, cost-saving measures and further efficiency improvements in the logistics chain.

Special Applications records strong business with agricultural machinery manufacturers
The Special Applications segment reported sales growth of 12.9 percent to € 359 million in fiscal year 2020/2021 (previous year: € 318 million). The main driver here was the strong business development with agricultural machinery manufacturers. In addition to rising overall demand, new series launches and the switch to LED lighting technologies also led to the increase in this area. In addition, business activities for other customer groups, especially for manufacturers of small series and trucks, also developed positively. The segment's EBIT rose to € 46 million in the past fiscal year (previous year: € 32 million), due in particular to further efficiency measures. As a result, the EBIT margin increased to 12.8 percent (previous year: 10.1 percent).

Despite the still challenging market environment, HELLA is confident about the current fiscal year
For the current fiscal year 2021/2022 (1 June 2021 to 31 May 2022), HELLA expects currency and portfolio-adjusted sales in a range between around € 6.6 and 6.9 billion and an adjusted EBIT margin of approximately 8 percent. "The industry development continues to be characterised by very high uncertainties. Global light vehicle production, for example, is particularly affected by the massive resource bottlenecks in the global supply and logistics chains. This will also have an impact on our business," says CEO Dr. Rolf Breidenbach. "However, due to our good strategic as well as technological positioning, we are confident that we will successfully continue our business development even in this challenging environment and grow stronger than the market."