NORMA Group sales grew 6.9% to €272.6 million in the first quarter 2018 compared to same quarter 2017 (€254.9 million). Organic growth was at 13.6%.
Negative currency effects hampered sales growth by 7.6%. Fengfan, acquired in Q2 2017, contributed an additional €2.5 million to growth. Group adjusted EBITA rose by 1.6% to €45.7 million compared to Q1 2017 (€45 million). The adjusted EBITA margin was 16.8% (Q1 2017: 17.7%). NORMA says this was mainly influenced by high raw material prices, particularly alloy surcharges and price increases for engineering plastics as a result of market shortages.
“We achieved strong organic growth in the first quarter of 2018,” says Bernd Kleinhens, chairman of the management board of NORMA Group. “This shows that our products are in high demand on the market and is reflected in the increased sales forecast for 2018. However, high raw material prices and negative currency effects had a negative impact on earnings. We want to sustainably strengthen our market position in the future. That is why we are continuing to invest in new technologies and markets. Our recent acquisition of the Indian water management solutions specialist Kimplas is another step toward ensuring steady growth in one of our focus areas.” The acquisition of Kimplas Piping Systems Ltd is expected to be completed in mid-2018.
NORMA reported sales growth in each of its operating regions. EMEA sales rose by 3.4% to €132.2 million. Growth was due in particular to good business in the automotive sector, attributable to the generally good environment in the industry with rising production and sales figures.
In the Americas region, NORMA Group increased sales by 7.7% to €107.3 million. The market for commercial vehicles and agricultural machinery significantly recovered, leading to a good order situation in the automotive industry. The Water Management division also developed very positively after weather-related weaknesses in fiscal year 2017.
In the Asia-Pacific region, sales grew significantly by 20.9% to €33.1 million. Growth was driven primarily by strong customised solutions business for the automotive industry, which benefited from the high demand for joining technology, particularly in China.
NORMA Group says it growth in the first quarter was stronger than expected. Based on group sales to April and expected group sales until year end the Management Board increased its sales forecast for fiscal year 2018. It expects sales to rise organically by around 5% to 8% in 2018. NORMA continues to aim for an adjusted EBITA margin greater than 17% (2017: 17.2%, 2016: 17.6% 2015: 17.6%).
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