Nuremberg, 11 May 2010 – Leoni AG has resumed its course of profit-oriented growth. The consolidated sales of the leading provider of cables and cable systems to the automotive sector and other industries increased by about 34 percent year on year to EUR 658.5 million in the period from the beginning of January to the end of March 2010 (previous year: EUR 492.4 million).
From its own resources Leoni achieved a 25 percent gain, with the increased price of copper accounting for the remainder. This surprisingly strong growth and the benefit of the cost reduction program drove a significant improvement in consolidated EBIT of EUR 69.8 million to EUR 23.0 million (previous year: loss of EUR 46.8 million).
Consolidated earnings after tax were already well into profit with a figure of EUR 10.2 million (previous year: loss of EUR 49.7 million). Thanks to the substantially improved demand on markets of importance to Leoni, capacity was once again fully utilised at many of the Company's
facilities and consequently make it possible to meanwhile partially do without the use of short-time working. On 31 March 2010 Leoni employed 50,454 people Groupwide, as opposed to 45,007 people one year earlier and 49,822 at the end of December 2009.
Following the extensive restructuring measures implemented in 2009, there were no significant changes in the number of permanent staff during the first quarter of 2010. In Germany, 3,732 people worked for Leoni on the reporting date (31 December 2009: 3,795), while there were 46,722 employees, i.e. 92.6 percent of the total workforce, outside Germany (31 December 2009: 46,027).
Strong upturn in the wiring systems business
In the wake of the economic recovery, Leoni was able to significantly increase its shipments of wiring systems and cable harnesses for the automotive industry during the period under report. Sales above all in China as well as business involving mechatronic components picked up
considerably. Overall, the Wiring Systems division's sales during the period under report increased by 35 percent to EUR 365.1 million (previous year: EUR 270.1 million) and its EBIT improved to EUR 9.5 million (previous year: a loss of EUR 31.5 million).
First production projects in India
New orders from the international motor vehicle industry further strengthened Leoni's market position. Among other factors, the recently opened office in Pune, India secured its first production projects involving engine cable harnesses for the Tata Cummins joint venture as well as the supply of the complete high-voltage wiring system for the electric version of the small Tata Ace van. The Company is thereby also proving its expertise in the area of electromobility. In addition, Leoni received additional orders during the period under report from the Japanese carmaker Nissan as well as from Daimler's commercial vehicle division.
Demand for cable systems picking up in numerous markets
Business involving special cables for the automotive industry, for example for safety and information systems such as ABS and telematics, likewise picked up strongly in the first quarter of 2010. Sales of special cables and cable systems for medical technology, automation and rolling stock engineering, network and safety wiring for buildings, household appliance and power tool cables as well as wires for the automotive industry also increased. Overall, the Wire & Cable Solutions division's volume of business increased by 32 percent from the beginning of January to the end of March 2010, to EUR 293.4 million (previous year: EUR 222.3 million). EBIT improved to EUR 13.5 million (previous year: a loss of EUR 13.8 million).
Forecasts for 2010 reaffirmed
This good start to the current year provides reason for cautious optimism. From today's perspective, the positive trend will stabilize in the second quarter. Given the economic and financial risks that persist in some countries, however, it is not currently possible to project the trend in the second half of the year. The Company for now consequently reaffirms its forecast for the year as a whole. In fiscal 2010, the Leoni Group should raise it sales by about 10 percent to approximately EUR 2.4 million (previous year: EUR 2,160.1 million) and generate EBIT of at least EUR 50 million (previous year: a loss of EUR 116.3 million), thus returning to a positive after-tax result (previous year: a net loss of EUR 138.1 million).