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Q1 softness but guidance confirmed

  • 16 May 16

Headline figures: • Order backlog reached a new high of €7.3bn with a very strong order intake in Defence in Q1 c.€950m. • Consolidated sales were up 2% to €1,180m in the first quarter when adjusted for currency effects. Automotive sales were down 1% reported (-2% organic growth) or down €10m to €654m. The fall in revenues is primarily explained by the economic weakness in the market for large-bore pistons, the continuing decline in automotive production in Brazil which declined by 28% compared to Q1 15, as well as the planned phase-out of a substantial contract with PSA concerning the Mechatronics division. The weakness in large-bore pistons, which came as a surprise to management and had not been budgeted, was related to non-light vehicle end markets including Transport customers, fracking-related markets, as well as marine-related customers. The decline in Brazil is being compensated through cost adjustments including a reduction in the workforce which has already been implemented (headcount down 16% or c.200 employees) and Rheinmetall is seeking to increase exports from its Brazilian plants to take advantage of the weakness in the real. Finally, the phase out of the PSA contract will be compensated by new contracts in Mechatronics over the course of Q2 and Q3. The Defence sector’s sales however rose by €17m, or 3% reported (+6% organic growth) to €526m. Higher sales from the Weapons and Ammunition business and Tracked vehicles compensated for lower sales of Air Defence products in the Electronic solutions segment. The division has changed its reporting segments to reflect the reorganisation of its operations surrounding military vehicles. • Operating earnings for the group improved by €9m to €31m resulting in an improved margin of 2.6% for the group. Automotive’s operating earnings of €52m were down from €55m in Q1 15, the margin target of 8% was however achieved and would have been exceeded but for a €3m cost related to the opening of a new plant in the Czech Republic. Defence operating earnings improved by €11m yoy to -€17m. Guidance confirmed: Group sales €5.5bn vs €5.2bn in 2015. Operating margin of 6% vs 5.5% in 2015. Automotive: c.€2.8bn vs €2.7bn in 2015. Operating margin of 8% still the target vs 8.3% in 2015. Defence: €2.8bn vs €2.6bn in 2015. Operating margin of 4.5-5%% vs 3.5% in 2015.

Overly cautious ahead of 2016 despite solid prospects?

  • 18 Mar 16

Results: FY 2015 Rheinmetall presented FY results yesterday. The sales and EBIT came as no surprise given the release of preliminary results last month. As a reminder, consolidated sales grew by 11% to €5.2bn, above €5bn for the first time, and group earnings before interest and tax was up significantly to €287m as Rheinmetall did not record any exceptional items during the year. Automotive posted a record EBIT of €216m on the back of €2.59bn in sales, leading to a divisional EBIT margin of 8.3%. Defence achieved a turnaround to generate an EBIT of €90m. As a group, Rheinmetall returned to a positive FCF generation of €29m (significant negative outflow of €182m in 2014) as Automotive’s cash flow generation of €96m compensated for the outflow of -€38m from Defence and the -€29m from corporate structure. The group’s net debt stood at €81m with the November €230m equity raise having helped strengthen the balance sheet in view of a potential acquisition. Rheinmetall announced a proposed dividend of €1.10 per share. Guidance: Consolidated sales set to grow to €5.5bn – with a further improvement in the operating margin to 6%. Automotive expects further sales growth to €2.7bn and a margin of 8%, while Defence anticipates organic growth leading to revenues of €2.8bn and an improved margin of 4.5-5%. In addition, management mentioned that while Automotive would continue to generate positive FCF, Defence would return to at least a breakeven FCF generation situation in 2016 after significant outflows in 2014 and 2015.