Rieter Business report FY2008

Business Highlights

Financial overview
(in CHF million) FY2008 FY2007 Rate
of change(%)
Sales 3,142.5 3,930.1 (20) -
Operating income (312.1) 278.7 -
Sales 2,022.1 2,363.3 (14) See below
Operating income (251.0) 91.6 -


-Sales of 2,022.1 million CHF by Automotive Systems in FY2008 were 10% lower in local currencies (-14% in nominal terms). The drop in volume in conjunction with the higher cost of materials and energy in the first six months had a severely adverse impact on the earnings. The Company gave high priority to implementing action aimed at adjusting structures accordingly and enhancing profitability. At the same time it made a breakthrough with initial volume production start-ups incorporating the innovative Rieter Ultra Silent technology.

-Rieter Automotive Systems launched an extensive program to improve its cost structure in 2008.

-The Company announced the closure of several plants in FY2008. These include the manufacturing site in St. Joseph, Michigan (USA), and two plants in the Barcelona region (Spain), where production is being integrated into a larger facility. In Germany the Bebra site is to be closed, and in France efforts to consolidate and restructure manufacturing operations are already well advanced.


R&D Expenditure
(in CHF million) FY2008 FY2007 FY2006
Total 122.3 141.1 144.8

R&D Structure
-The Company operates nine acoustics laboratories as well as a central research center in Winterthur for acoustic and thermal management as well as the respective products and materials.

Product development
-Rieter Ultra Silent (RUS) has stability, acoustic properties and market potential. One of the advantages of Rieter Ultra Silent is being recyclable. In contrast to existing products with similar properties, it contains no glass fibers. The material that is very light and heat-resistant satisfies requirements in automotive engineering and can be used in various parts of the vehicles, which has been developed by the Company's both divisions, Textile and Automotive Systems. The Company's Automotive systems received its first volume orders for products based on Rieter Ultra Silent.

Investment Activities

Capital Expenditure
(in CHF million) FY2008 FY2007 FY2006
Automotive Systems 85.3 112.4 121.3
Overall 140.9 203.5 186.2

Capital Expenditure by Region
(in CHF million) FY2008 FY2007
Europe 85.4 128.6
Asia 34.3 34.4
North America 16.9 37.3
Latin America 4.2 3.1
Africa 0.1 0.1
Total 140.9 203.5

Investments outside Germany

-The Company inaugurated its new Acoustics and Development Center in Shanghai, China. The center provides customers with its expertise in acoustics and thermal management in China as well as in Asia. The facility will also support projects from global customers in coordination with the group's Development Centers in Europe and the US. (From a press release on May 12, 2008)

-Other overseas investments include; Preparatory work for a second plant in India was started in 2008. The Company's first manufacturing facility in Korea was completed. A further extension to the plant in Chocen (Czech Republic), where the Company has been manufacturing since the 1990s, was opened in 2008.