FOURTH QUARTER 2020
- Sales fell by 13% to SEK 989m (1,141). In currency-adjusted terms, the decline was 6%.
- Gross margin improved by 3 percentage points to 28.6% (25.6). The improvement is attributed to the closure of production units as well as increased share of aftermarket sales.
- Adjusted operating income increased to SEK 66m (44), equivalent to an adjusted operating margin of 6.7% (3.8). Adjusted operating margin excluding investments in new technology was 8.0% (4.9).
- Reported operating income totaled SEK 44m (133). Non-recurring expenses of net SEK 22m, including positive earnings of SEK 35m from the sale of the Blue Springs property, weighed upon profit.
- Changes in exchange rates had a negative impact on operating income of SEK -20m (-2).
- Profit after tax was SEK -61m (-149). The tax amounted to SEK 59m (4).
- Earnings per share were SEK -1.27 (-3.36).
- Cash flow from operating activities totaled SEK 123m (239).
- The structural savings programs developed according to plan and reduced expenses by SEK 34m.
- Haldex signed an agreement with a Chinese bus manufacturer for the pre-series manufacturing of electromechanical braking system (EMB).
- The supply chain is strained due to increased raw material costs and component shortages.
FULL YEAR 2020
- Sales fell by 22% to SEK 4,007m (5,151). In currency-adjusted terms, the decline was 20%.
- Adjusted operating income fell to SEK 163m (317), equivalent to an adjusted operating margin of 4.1% (6.1). Adjusted operating margin excluding investments in new technology was 5.0% (6.9).
- The structural savings programs reduced expenses by SEK 69m for the full year.
- Reported operating income totaled SEK -100m (105). Non-recurring net expenses of SEK 263m, including positive earnings of SEK 35m from the sale of the Blue Springs property, weighed upon income for the full year.
- Changes in exchange rates had a negative impact on operating income of SEK -16m (24).
- The annual profit after tax was SEK -300m (5). The tax amounted to SEK 111m (56).
- Earnings per share were SEK -6.44 (0.12).
- Cash flow from operating activities totaled SEK 215m (328).
- The Board proposes that no dividend be paid.
|Fourth quarter||12 months|
|Group overview, SEKm||Oct-Dec
|Net sales, SEKm||989||1,141||-13%||4,007||5,151||-22%|
|Operating income, SEKm||44||-133||-133%||-100||105||-195%|
|Adjusted operating income, SEKm||66||44||52%||163||317||-49%|
|Adjusted operating margin, %||6.7%||3.8%||2.9||4.1%||6.1%||-2.0|
|Adjusted operating margin excl. investment in new technology||8.0%||4.9%||3.2||5.0%||6.9%||-1.9|
|Return on capital employed ¹||-3.8%||3.1%||-6.9||-3.8%||3.1%||-6.9|
|Return on capital employed excl. non-recurring items, ¹)||5.0%||9.4%||-4.4||5.0%||9.4%||-4.4|
|Profit after tax, SEKm||-61||-149||-59%||-300||5||na|
|Earnings per share, SEK||-1.27||-3.36||-59%||-6.44||0.12||na|
|Cash flow, operating activities, SEKm||123||239||-116||215||328||-113|
|1) Rolling twelve months, effect of IFRS16 Finance Leases has been excluded.
Comment from Helene Svahn, President & CEO:Sales showed gradual recovery and the year ended strongly with sales volumes on a par with 2019, despite increasing global spread of COVID-19 infection during the quarter. Our long-term savings programs continued to be effective, and adjusted operating margin increased to 6.7% in the quarter.
The quarter’s net sales decreased by 13% compared to the corresponding quarter in 2019 and amounted to SEK 989m; the decline was 6% when currency adjusted. The US dollar weakening by 9% had a negative impact, as Region North America excluding Canada accounts for approximately 41% of Haldex’s sales.
The development across our regions was mixed. North America continued to have a challenging quarter and currency-adjusted net sales decreased by 10% compared to the corresponding period last year. Europe, on the other hand, showed a stronger recovery, growing by 7% in currency-adjusted terms. South America also showed a positive sales trend, while Asia declined by 21% compared to a strong fourth quarter of 2019.
Global new production of trucks recovered, but demand moderated toward the end of the quarter. Sales to the truck segment fell by 24% in the quarter, primarily due to the fact that we lost a major customer in North America at the beginning of the year, and because of the effect of the coronavirus pandemic and a general market downturn.
An increased focus on the trailer segment proved effective, and we achieved the same volume as in the fourth quarter of 2019. We thus had better development than the market in general. The aftermarket also showed a solid recovery from previous quarters, and globally we achieved the same level of sales in the quarter as in 2019.
In a broader perspective, operations continued to be characterized by efforts to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on demand, productivity, shortage of semiconductor components, and increasing prices of raw materials, primarily iron and steel. Finally, the Development Department has reorganized to increase its focus on the commercialization of our electromechanical braking system (EMB) and product development geared toward electrification of heavy transport.
improved adjusted operating margin
Our savings programs have proved to be effective, and the adjusted operating margin increased by 2.9 percentage points compared to 2019, despite substantially lower sales volumes. Costs decreased by SEK 65m in the quarter, of which the structural savings programs accounted for SEK 34m. The new savings program of SEK 100m, which was described in the Q3 report, among other things covers workforce reductions in the form of 70 positions spread across all regions. The cuts do not relate to any one particular product line or branch of the business, but are another element in focusing the business. The savings program will take full effect in the second half of 2021. The fourth quarter was impacted by non-recurring staff reduction expenses of SEK 25m related to the extended program communicated in the third quarter. The costs of all the currently ongoing savings programs had an impact of SEK 48m on quarterly earnings.
Implementing extensive savings represent a challenge for any organization, and I am very proud of the way all our employees have stepped up to the plate and executively implemented savings without losing focus on safety, quality and new business. With the measures, we have taken another step towards achieving the 10% operating margin target.
PLAN FOR LONG-TERM VALUE CREATION
My most important task is to safeguard Haldex’s position as a global and relevant niche player. We also have to ensure that investments made in the brand, organization and product development create long-term added value.
Haldex cost-base has previously been over-sized and over the past year, we have undertaken a strategic review and introduced a more stringent action program aimed at improving profitability. Among other things, this has resulted in write-downs on development projects with uncertain profitability. The review has led to the streamlining of our resources towards initiatives with the best future potential. Implemented structural measures have brought us closer to the target. The next step is to develop and further refine the proposition so that it is concentrated around profitable and long-term attractive products, while continuing to work on streamlining.
The strategic review is still ongoing, and we expect to be able to provide an update in the second quarter.
PRODUCT AND PROPOSITION INVESTMENTS
The focus on developing our offering for the trailer segment and aftermarket continues. We focus our efforts on niches where Haldex has competitive advantages and where our proposition of flexibility, close customer relationships and an open architecture in innovative brake solutions makes a difference. To reinforce our aftermarket presence, we may make acquisitions in this segment.
Our important initiative regarding electrification and our EMB product are showing signs of success. Customers have a strong interest in EMB, and at the end of the year we entered into a contract with a Chinese electric bus manufacturer on pre-series production. The order has a, marginal impact on earnings but is strategically important and takes us another step closer to series production and wider launch in China. The progress of EMB, which is also being evaluated by two global European truck manufacturers and several bus companies in China, demonstrates that we have an attractive and correctly positioned proposition that takes into account the global focus on climate issues and the need for fossil-free transport.
SALES, CUSTOMERS AND PARTNERSHIPS
To summarize, I am satisfied with the trend in the fourth quarter. Sales recovered, operating income improved, and we achieved our highest adjusted operating margin in the fourth quarter since 2015. It was also pleasing that the increased focus on the trailer market led to a stronger market position and increased sales in Europe. We are purposefully working toward entering into further partnerships that can contribute to increased volumes and improved profitability. These are long processes that demand perseverance. For example, we have recently been informed, after three years of sales efforts, that we have found our way into an attractive aftermarket segment in the United States. We look forward to the start of pre-series production of EMB in China. It will be an important milestone for continued commercialization, and our commitment to new products enabling electrically powered heavy passenger and freight transport by road.
President and CEO
For further information, visit https://haldex.com/sv/corporate/investerare/ or contact:
Helene Svahn, President & CEO. Telephone: +46 (0) 418-47 60 00
Lottie Saks, CFO and IR. Telephone: +46 (0)418-47 60 00
This information is such that Haldex AB (publ) is obliged to publish under the EU Market Abuse Regulation. The information was submitted for publication through contacts on Thursday February 11, 2021 at 7.20 am.
Press and analyst conference
Journalists and analysts are invited to a teleconference at which the report will be presented with comments by Helene Svahn, President and CEO, and Lottie Saks, CFO. The teleconference will also be webcast, and you can take part and ask questions by phone. Date and time: Thursday 11 February 2021, 11:00 am.
Link to event for telephone number and link to webcast;
The webcast will be available afterwards, and both the interim report and the presentation can be downloaded from the Haldex website: https://www.haldex.com/en/corporate/investors/financial-reports/
Over 100 years of powerful innovation gives Haldex unsurpassed expertise when it comes to braking systems and air suspension systems for heavy trucks, trailers and buses. We live and breathe our business with the goal to deliver robust and technically superior solutions which is founded in a deep insight in our customer’s reality. Through focusing on our core competences and the passion we all share, we achieve the agility and flexibility that the market demands. Innovative collaborations aren’t only the core of our products, but our philosophy. Our 2 000 employees, spread out across four continents, challenge the conventional on a daily basis in order to secure that the products we deliver create a unique value to our customers and the end users. We are listed on Nasdaq Stockholm and have a turnover of approx. 4 billion SEK.