Benteler AG Business report FY2008

Business Highlights

Financial Overview (in million euros)
FY2008 FY2007 Rate of change
Sales 6,327 6,319 0.1 -
Automotive division
Sales 4,580 4,772 (4.0) -

Chassis Systems Product Group
-The Chassis Systems Product Group's sales were down 5 %.
-Module sales decreased because one customer procured materials for a major order directly.
-A plant closing in Canada also had the effect of reducing revenues.
-A new module order began in Spain; here Automotive Division built a module assembly plant for the VW Polo and Seat Ibiza.
-Production of chassis components remained at the previous year's level in 2008.

Structures Product Group
-The Structures Product Group's sales revenues maintained the prior year's level in 2008.
-As in the other units, sales volumes to outside customers decreased.
-But this decrease was compensated by increased deliveries of press parts to other product groups.

Engine and Exhaust Systems Product Group
-The Engine and Exhaust Systems Product Group's sales revenues were down 16 % in 2008.
-Lower sales volumes caused revenues for exhaust systems to decrease especially sharply in North America.
-In components for engine management and fuel supply, the revision of the product portfolio in past years joined with recent economic conditions to reduce revenues.

Engineering Services Product Group
-During the year, a portion of the Engineering Services Product Group's activities were transferred to other product groups, so that sales are not comparable with the prior-year figures.

Joint Ventures
-The Company founded a joint venture with European carbon fiber maker SGL Group. Benteler SGL GmbH & Co. KG, headquartered in Paderborn,
pools the capabilities of Benteler Automotive and the SGL Group in automotive component production and development, and in the production of carbon fibers and semifinished materials.

-In Feb. 2009, Benteler-SGL GmbH & Co. KG, Germany, has acquired the Austrian company Fischer Composite Technology GmbH (FCT). Benteler-SGL GmbH & Co. KG is a joint venture of Benteler AG and the SGL Group of Germany. The joint venture manufactures and distributes composite components based on carbon-fibers (CFRPs) for the automotive industry. FCT is a supplier of automotive composite components and the product portfolio includes exterior components such as sideblades and doors. (From a press release on Feb 9, 2009)


R&D Expenditure
-In 2008, the Company increased its development expenditure to 123.3 million euros or 12.8% more than in 2007.


-Through the joint venture, Benteler SGL GmbH & Co. KG, the Company identified components in which to use a steel-CFP composite that can reduce weight or increase performance significantly for a reasonable additional cost. Studies showed weight savings of up to 50 %, depending on the component. The innovative composite can be used, for example, to make CFP-reinforced B-pillars that are designed individually to meet particular crash resistance requirements. A variety of approaches were also developed to make the technology suitable for large series production.

Investment Activities

Capital Expenditure (in million euros)
FY2008 FY2007 FY2006
Overall 208 318 191
Automotive division 133 132 150

-The Company invested 208 million euros in the reporting year, 35 % less than in the previous year. Of this sum, 165 million euros were invested in tangible fixed assets.

-133 million euros, or 64 %, went for production facilities and equipment in the Automotive Division, primarily for new orders. Important single projects included axis projects for Toyota and Audi, and a new hot forming line. There were no major investments to establish new plants in 2008.

Investments outside Germany
-Automotive Division built a module assembly plant for the VW Polo and Seat Ibiza.