NORMA Group reported sales at EUR 275.6 million in the first quarter of 2019, 1.1% up on same period 2018. Lower organic growth, eroded by automotive sector issues, was compensated by contributions from 2018 acquisitions and currency exchange gains.
Organic sales fell 4.2%. 2018 acquisitions, Kimplas and Statek, “contributed 2.3% and EUR 6.2 million respectively”. Currency effects contributed 3.1% to sales growth. Adjusted EBITA for the quarter fell 13.3% to EUR 39.6 million (Q1 2018: EUR 45.7 million). The adjusted EBITA margin was 14.4% (Q1 2018: 16.8%). Net operating cash flow increased by EUR 13.5 million to EUR -0.3 million.
NORMA explained: “The business development in the first quarter of 2019 is mainly attributable to the lower production and sales figures in the automotive sector in all three regions. Above all, the EMEA and Asia-Pacific regions were characterised by a very volatile market environment: lower production volumes in the European automobile industry due to the difficulties encountered in the summer of 2018 in implementing the standardised, stricter test procedure for emission values (WLTP) and a sharp decline in demand from the Chinese automotive industry.”
Sales in the EMEA region fell 2.8% to EUR 128.4 million (Q1 2018: EUR 132.2 million) impacted particularly by the continued WLTP issues and lower automotive production.
Americas’ sales “rose solidly” by 4.0% to EUR 111.6 million (Q1 2018: EUR 107.3 million). NORMA identified the water management segment as posting strong growth at the beginning of 2019; business with commercial vehicles and agricultural machinery also continued to develop solidly. However, production figures in the North American automotive sector were negative.
NORMA increased Asia-Pacific sales 7.5% to EUR 35.6 million (Q1 2018: EUR 33.1 million). While the Chinese automotive sector experienced significant production declines, the acquisition of Kimplas in India contributed to additional sales revenues.
Group CEO Bernd Kleinhens commented: “In view of the uncertain market situation worldwide and the more volatile than expected market environment, particularly in the EMEA and Asia-Pacific regions, we have substantiated our forecast for the adjusted EBITA margin in 2019. We are confident that the situation on the markets will improve in the coming quarters and that we are well positioned for the future with our broad product range and commitment to key markets such as electromobility and water management.”
NORMA Group confirmed its expected moderate organic growth, between 1 and 3%, for the full year. Sales from Kimplas and Statek are expected to total around EUR 13 million. The company confirmed it was sticking to its adjusted EBITA margin forecast of between 15 and 17% but expected to achieve the lower end of the range.
Having held senior management roles in leading automotive and fastener businesses, Phil joined Fastener + Fixing Magazine as editor in 2002. Convinced there is no substitute for ‘being there’, over 17 years of visits and interviews around the world means he has accumulated an extraordinary knowledge and perspective of the global fastener industry, reflected in his incisive and thought provoking reporting.