LONDON - A series of successful acquisitions helped TI Group plc's Automotive Systems business boost sales by 50 percent last year to $1.9 billion. Operating profits in the division grew 37 percent to $198 million.
TI Group Automotive Systems was formed in June 1999 following the $570 million acquisition of US supplier Walbro Corp. Walbro's fuel system business was combined with Bundy, TI Group's fluid-carrying systems specialist.
TI said the strategic benefit of the deal has already been proved. The Automotive Systems unit recently won a $120 million-a-year contract to supply complete fuel storage and delivery systems to an unnamed automaker.
TI Group Chairman Christopher Lewinton said the systems - which will be produced starting in 2003 - meet stringent new US emissions standards.
TI Group Automotive Systems has also secured an important contract to supply Renault for its next-generation Scenic, Lewinton said.
Last March, TI Group agreed to pay $33 million for the automotive air conditioning component business of Kenmore Italiana, based in Milan.
In October, TI Group completed the $73 million acquisition of the outstanding 51 percent of Walbro's Marwal joint venture from Italian supplier Magneti Marelli. Marwal, headquartered in Chalons-en-Champagne, France, manufactures pumps and modules for automotive fuel systems.
Both acquisitions helped strengthen Automotive Systems' product portfolio, Lewinton added.
Further collaboration with Magneti Marelli will continue through an agreement covering fuel systems and engine management technology, Lewinton said.
'As a result of these acquisitions, the number of addressable markets for TI Group Automotive Systems has more than doubled,' he said. 'Moreover, the value content of TI parts per vehicle supplied increased by 26 percent last year.'
Significant investments made in 1999 included new satellite plants in Poland and Brazil and powertrain manufacturing facilities in the Czech Republic and Spain.