HELLA KGaA Hueck & Co. Business Report FY ended May 2015

Business Highlights

Financial Overview

(in million EUR)
  FY ended May 31, 2015 FY ended May 31, 2014 Rate of
change (%)
Sales 5,835 5,343 9.2 1)
EBITDA 766 656 16.8 -
Sales by Segment
Lighting 2,427 2,180 11.3 2)
Electronics 1,937 1,744 11.1 3)

1) Sales
-During the fiscal year ended May 31, 2015, sales increased by 9.2% from the previous year to EUR 5,835 million. Positive exchange rate effects, particularly in the U.S. and China, contributed approximately 2.3 percentage points to the Company's sales growth. The main contribution of the Company's organic sales growth was its automotive business, with high levels of demand coming from the U.S. and China. The Company also benefited from its position with German manufacturers of premium vehicles. Also, the Company's limited presence in India and Brazil and lack of presence in Russia minimized any negative impact from economic weaknesses in those countries.

2) Lighting division
-Sales in the Company's Lighting division increased by 11.3% to EUR 2,427 million in the fiscal year ended May 31, 2015. Growth was particularly strong in NAFTA and China. Sales increases in those regions were additionally bolstered by launches of new products, including headlamps with complex LED technology.

3) Electronics division
-The Company's Electronics division had sales of EUR 1,937 million in the fiscal year ended May 31, 2015, an increase of 11.1% from the previous year. Continuing trends of energy efficiency, emission reduction, and styling and comfort led to higher product demand of energy management systems, driver assistance systems, and electric power steering systems.

Joint Venture

Opening ceremony for new joint venture with Beijing Hainachuan
-On November 18, 2014, Beijing Hainachuan Automotive Parts Co., Ltd. and the Company held a ceremony to celebrate the opening of their 50-50 joint venture, Beijing Hainachuan Hella Automotive Lamp Co., Ltd. The new company is capitalized at CNY 256 million and will produce automotive lamps and electronic components. (From news releases issued by multiple sources on December 8, 2014)


-The Company announced that its combination rear lamp with LED technology is featured on the new Renault Espace. The rear lamp features brushed sections which allows light to partially pass through, creating a similar visual effect as when light shines through an ice cube. Hence, the design was named 'Ice Cube Design." (From a press release on May 22, 2015)

-The Company announced that its LED headlamps and rear combination lamps are featured on the new Mercedes-Benz V-Class MPV. Other Company products on the Mercedes-Benz V-Class include integrated lights such as reading lights or cockpit lights, and electronics for the roof control unit. (From a press release on September 4, 2014)

-The Company provides LED headlamps for the Volkswagen Polo.


-In August 2014, the Company received the Q1 award from Ford for fulfilling the highest quality standards.

R&D Expenditure

(in million EUR)
  FY ended May 31, 2015 FY ended May 31, 2014 FY ended May 31, 2013
Overall 544 514 444
-Automotive 512 478 408
Overall R&D Expenditure as a % of overall sales 9.3% 9.6% 9.2%
R&D Employees 6,063 5,880 5,414


Technological Alliance

-In April 2015, the Company expanded its partnership to include the Hamm-Lippstadt University of Applied Sciences in joint operation of the L-Lab. The L-Lab is a research institute for lighting technology and mechatronics that the Company has been jointly operating with the University of Paderborn since 2000.

R&D Activities

-During the fiscal year ended May 31, 2015, the Company's Lighting business division focused its research and development activities in broadening the availability of LED technology throughout multiple vehicle segments. Specifically, the Company looked to optimize costs of LED technology for lower-priced vehicles. For the premium segment, the Company focused on the development of HD (high definition) headlamps. Other activities include the development of laser light sources and OLEDs. The Company expects to launch its first series OLED rear combination lamps in the near future.

-During the fiscal year ended May 31, 2015, the Electronics business division was able to enhance technologies for 48V electric systems. The Company also continued development of a battery management system for both premium hybrid vehicles and compact electric cars. Additionally, the Company is developing a new generation of radar sensors, and systems that allow the operation of vehicle functions through a smartphone.

Product Development

Full LED combination rear lamp for heavy trucks
-At the 2014 IAA Commercial Vehicle exhibition, the Company displayed a full LED combination rear lamp for heavy trucks. The lamp features separate encapsulations, which protect the module from environmental damage. Additionally, the modular nature of the lens allows it to be easily replaced and are interchangeable should damage occur. The use of LEDs reduce energy consumption and maintenance compared to conventional bulbs. (From a press release on September 25, 2014)


-The Company registered 176 patents during the fiscal year ended May 31, 2015.

Capital Expenditure

(in million EUR)
  FY ended May 31, 2015 FY ended May 31, 2014 FY ended May 31, 2013
Total 347 368 427

-The Company increased its capital expenditure in the Electronics division to increase its offerings of safety-related components.