FUCHS publishes preliminary figures for 2019 financial year: Sales revenues at previous year's level at EUR 2.6 billion, EBIT 16% below previous year
- Sales revenues: +0% at EUR 2.6 billion
- EBIT down -16% to EUR 321 million
- Dividend proposal: +2% to EUR 0.97 per preference share
FUCHS at a glance - preliminary figures
|in EUR million
|Sales revenues (1)
|Europe, Middle East, Africa
|North and South America
|EBIT before one-off effect
|Earnings after tax
|Free cash flow before acquisitions
|Free cash flow
|Earnings per share in EUR
|Employees as at December 31
(1) By company location; previous year figures comparable
(2) Including divestments
Sales revenues and earnings
In the 2019 financial year, FUCHS kept sales revenues stable at the high level of the previous year at EUR 2.6 billion (2.6). Due to the weakness of the automotive industry in Asia and Europe, organic growth declined slightly by -1%. Acquisitions from 2019 contributed with +1%. Currency effects from the translation into the Group currency played only a minor role.
Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) declined by 16% to EUR 321 million (383). On a comparable basis, excluding the one-off effect from the sale of the trading joint venture in Switzerland in 2018, EBIT was -14% or EUR 50 million below the previous year (EUR 371 million). The disproportionately high decline in earnings in relation to sales revenues in the 2019 reporting year is attributable both to the scheduled increase in the cost base as a result of the growth and investment program and to the decline in volume resulting from the weak economic environment. Goodwill amortization of EUR 6 million also had a negative impact on EBIT. Earnings after tax decreased by 21% to EUR 228 million (288), largely as a result of higher withholding taxes on dividends. Earnings per ordinary and preference share were EUR 1.63 (2.06) and EUR 1.64 (2.07) respectively.
Sales revenues and earnings by region
Business in the three global regions performed differently. At EUR 1,579 million (1,618), sales revenues in the region Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) were 2% below the previous year's level, mainly due to the difficult environment in the automotive industry. Currency effects and external growth had no impact on sales revenues in this region. The EBIT of EUR 167 million (211) is also down and includes the goodwill amortization of EUR 6 million.
On an organic basis, the Asia-Pacific region declined by 1% due to the lower demand in the automotive sector. Taking into account positive currency effects (+1%) from translation into the Group currency, the euro, and the acquisition of a lubricant manufacturer in the automotive retail sector in Australia, sales revenues in the region rose by 2% or EUR 12 million to EUR 718 million (706). At EUR 93 million (102), EBIT was down on the previous year.
The North and South America region increased its sales revenues by 2% to EUR 418 million (409) in the reporting year. The negative organic growth of -1% was offset by a positive currency effect of 3%. The region's EBIT of EUR 49 million (59) was down on the previous year.
Investments in property, plant and equipment of EUR 154 million (121) have risen to a new record level, but are below the figure originally planned for the year as a whole. Despite increased investments and lower earnings after tax, free cash flow before acquisitions was higher than in the previous year at EUR 175 million (147), mainly due to the reduction of inventories.
The FUCHS Group had 5,627 employees as of December 31, 2019 (5,446). The total workforce increased by 181 people or 3% compared to the previous year, mainly as a result of acquisitions.
The number of employees in the Asia-Pacific region rose by 37, while the EMEA region added 89 employees. In North and South America, the number of employees increased by 55 compared to December 31, 2018.
Pending a resolution by the Supervisory Board, the Executive Board of FUCHS PETROLUB SE intends to propose a dividend of EUR 0.97 (0.95) per preference share and EUR 0.96 (0.94) per ordinary share for the financial year 2019 to the Annual General Meeting, which will be held on May 5, 2020. This corresponds to a 2% increase. We are thus maintaining our stable dividend policy even in a difficult economic environment.
Outlook and complete figures
For the year 2020, FUCHS expects growth in both sales revenues and EBIT in the low to medium single-digit percentage range, although the economic effects of the Covid-19 virus are not yet foreseeable. The figures published are preliminary figures. The FUCHS Group will publish the final figures for the financial year 2019 and the complete outlook for 2020 on March 19, 2020.
Mannheim, February 20, 2020
FUCHS PETROLUB SE
Friesenheimer Str. 17
68169 Mannheim, Germany
Tel. +49 621 3802-1104
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The FUCHS Group develops, produces and markets high-grade lubricants and related specialties for virtually all industries and areas of application. Formed in Mannheim in 1931, the Group employs more than 5,500 people worldwide at 62 operating companies. FUCHS is the world's largest independent lubricant manufacturer. Its most important markets in terms of sales revenues are Western Europe, Asia and North America.
This press release contains statements about future developments that are based on assumptions and estimates by the management of FUCHS PETROLUB SE. Even if the management is of the opinion that these assumptions and estimates are accurate, future actual developments and future actual results may differ significantly from these assumptions and estimates due to a variety of factors. These factors can, for example, include changes in the overall economic climate, changes in procurement prices, changes to exchange rates and interest rates, and changes within the lubricants industry. FUCHS PETROLUB SE provides no guarantee that future developments and the results actually achieved in the future will match the assumptions and estimates set out in this press release and assumes no liability for such.