Benteler International AG Business Report FY ended Dec. 2014

Business Highlights

Financial Overview

 (in million EUR)
  FY ended Dec. 31, 2015 FY ended Dec. 31, 2014 Rate of change
Net Sales 7,597.7 7,556 0.5 1)
EBIT 136.2 185.6 (26.6) -
Automotive Division
Sales 5,782 5,865 (1.4) 2)

1) Net Sales
-The Company’s net sales increased by 0.5% in the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015 to EUR 7,598 million. Adjusted for currency effects, the Company’s sales decreased by 2.5% over the previous year. Sales for the Automotive Division decreased slightly, while sales in the Steel/Tube division showed a significant decrease. These results were offset by the increase in sales in the Distribution division.

2) Automotive Division
-Sales in the Company’s Automotive division decreased by 1.4% from the previous year to EUR 5,782 million in the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015. Excluding currency effects, sales in the division decreased by 4.5%. The division experienced a negative EUR 266 million impact due to the sale and closure of locations such as Brampton, Canada; St. Ursanne, Switzerland; Tigre, Argentina, and Opelika, U.S. due to restructuring.

Joint Ventures

-The Company and Changan Automobile Group Co. Ltd., have established a joint venture in Chongqing, China. Both companies will have a 50% stake in the new joint venture, called Benteler JianAn Automotive Co. Ltd. The new joint venture will focus on the research, development, and manufacturing of structure and chassis components and chassis module systems. Future plans for the joint venture include a research and development center in Chengdu, and additional production facilities in Chongqing, Harbin, and Shenzhen. By 2019, the joint venture is expected to have sales of at least CNY 2 billion and over 2,400 employees. Benteler JianAn Automotive will provide parts for Changan Automobile, its joint ventures, andother OEMs. (From a press release on July 8, 2015)

R&D Expenditure

 (in million EUR)
  FY ended Dec. 31, 2015 FY ended Dec. 31, 2014 FY ended Dec. 31, 2013
Overall 94.1 93.2 101

R&D Structure

-The Company has over 1,200 employees working in research and development in 32 locations over 18 countries.

-Research and development activities concentrate particularly on lightweight construction through the development, design and production of composite structural parts and aluminum components.

Product Development

Front axle prototype made from metal and polypropylene
-In November 2015, the Company developed the first prototype of a front axle comprised of an aluminum sheet upper shell and fiber-reinforced polypropylene lower shell. The plastic structure and metal shell were combined using a thermally assisted bonding process. The bonding process used to manufacture the front axle demonstrates further opportunity to produce components which integrate multiple materials. Also, the use of fiber-reinforced plastics provides weight savings to the axle, and other potential products.

Loop heat pipe wast heat recovery system
-The Company installed and tested a loop heat pipe in a modern diesel vehicle to measure its capabilities. The loop heat pipe transfers exhaust heat into other areas of the vehicle without using components prone to wear such as pumps. In the test case, the exhaust heat was used to warm the interior of the vehicle. When compared to a diesel vehicle with a standard electric vehicle, the test vehicle was discovered to have 13% reduced fuel consumption. The system is also being implemented in an electric vehicle to increase the vehicle’s range.

Capital Expenditure

 (in million EUR)
  FY ended Dec. 31, 2015 FY ended Dec. 31, 2014 FY ended Dec. 31, 2013
Overall 289 489 349
-Automotive division 210 170 202

-Of the EUR 210 million in capital expenditures invested in the Automotive division, approximately EUR 143 million was devoted for project-specific investments, production facilities, and equipment. The largest investments were for thermoforming lines in Campinas, Brazil and Migennes, France, as well as module projects in Joinville, Brazil, and Shenyang, China.

Investments outside Germany

-In September 2015, operations began at the Company’s new steel tube hot rolling facility in Shreveport, Louisiana, U.S. The 885,000-square-foot facility is expected to employ 675 people at full capacity and produce approximately 320,000 tons of steel tubes annually.