HELLA KGaA Hueck & Co. Business Report FY ended May 2017

Financial Overview

(in million EUR)
FY ended May
31, 2017
FY ended May 31, 2016 Rate of
change (%)
Sales 6,585 6,352 3.7 1)
EBITDA 919 816 12.6 -
Sales by Segment
Lighting 2,788 2,720 2.5 -
Electronics 2,191 2,084 5.1 -

1) Sales
-During the fiscal year ended May 31, 2017, the Company’s sales rose by 3.7% to EUR 6,585 million. Excluding negative exchange-rate effects and the divestment of the Company’s Industries and Airport Lighting business activities, the Company’s sales grew by 4.3%. The increase in sales was primarily driven by accelerated growth in the Automotive segment in the second half of the fiscal year.

-Sales for the Company’s Automotive segment grew 3.8% in the fiscal year ended May 31, 2017 to EUR 5,029 million. The segment’s growth was caused by strong demand for both lighting solutions and electronic products, including radar systems and energy management systems.


-For the fiscal year ending May 31, 2018, the Company expects to achieve currency-adjusted sales growth between 5% and 10% over the previous fiscal year.

R&D Expenditure

(in million EUR)
FY ended May 31, 2017 FY ended May 31, 2016 FY ended May 31, 2015
Overall 636 623 544
-Automotive 605 591 512
Overall R&D expenditure as a % of overall sales 9.7% 9.8% 9.3%
R&D employees 6,764 6,361 6,063

R&D Facilities

-In February 2017, the Company announced that it opened its new development center for automotive lighting technology in Sindelfingen, Germany. The new development center will respond to the growing demand for innovative lighting solutions, complementing existing capabilities at Lippstadt headquarters in Westphalia. Approximately 20 employees are located at the new technology center. The number of development staff at Sindelfingen is expected to increase to over 100. (From a press release on February 28, 2017)

-As of May 31, 2017, the Company has 41 research locations across 18 countries.

Technological Alliance

-In the fiscal year ended May 31, 2017, the Company, together with Porsche, Merck, Elmos, Schweizer Elektronic AG, Paderborn University, and the University of Stuttgart, completed the VoLiFa 2020 research project aimed to develop a fully adaptive LCD-based lighting system.

-Together with Osram, Daimler, Infineon, and two Fraunhofer institutes, the Company completed a research project in the fiscal year ended May 31, 2017, on the development of high-resolution LED systems.

-During the fiscal year ended May 31, 2017, the Company began two new collaborative projects. One project focused on the development of an intelligent headlamp system through a hardware-in-the-loop approach. The other project involves the development of a concept for autonomous vehicles to communicate with non-autonomous road entities such as pedestrians, cyclists, and other vehicles.

R&D Activities

-Research and development in the Company’s Lighting business division is focused on the trends of high-resolution lighting systems and digitalization of automotive lighting technology.

-The Company’s research and development activities in lighting are focused on the following areas: pixelated LED light sources, LCD technologies, digital mirror devices, laser light source applications, holography, and OLED technology.

-In its Electronics business division, the Company has focused on the development of battery management systems, surface technologies for remote keys and ID transmitters, and air quality sensors.

-Through its Hella Aglaia subsidiary, the Company is involved in the research and development of camera-based driver assistance systems, focusing on the development of an open software system that can support several scalable hardware platforms.

Product Development

Cooling valve actuator and auxiliary water circulation pump
-The Company presented an electronic Cooling Valve Actuator (CoVA) and a scalable Auxiliary Water Circulation Pump at NAIAS 2017. The electric CoVA enables the engine control unit to regulate coolant flow more precisely within the space of a few seconds. This reduces fuel consumption and harmful emissions. Series production of the CoVA will start in the first quarter of 2017. The MP50 Auxiliary Water Circulation Pump helps flexibly and efficiently manage coolant flow when installed at certain junctions, enabling the production of on-demand pressure. The pump is scheduled to be ready for production by 2019. (From a press release on January 13, 2017)

CompactRadar 77 GHz radar sensor
-In June 2016, the Company unveiled its new 77 GHz CompactRadar Sensor. Developed in conjunction with NXP and InnoSenT, the development of CompactRadar was due to NXP's Radar System Chips. The CompactRadar sensor is approximately the size of a box of matches. This allows for installation inside bumpers or integration into side elements, such as doors, and the rear parts of the vehicle, which enables efficient 360° environment recognition for the entire vehicle. Applications for CompactRadar include fully automated parking. The CompactRadar product family is scheduled to launch in mid-2018. (From press releases on June 9, 2016; January 6, 2017)

SHAKE (Structural health and knock emission) sensor
-The Company has developed a SHAKE sensor (structural health and knock emission), a structure-borne sound sensor which can detect impact and damage to a vehicle’s exterior. An example of the SHAKE sensor was seen on a demonstrator vehicle at the 2018 North American International Auto Show. Series production of the SHAKE sensor is expected to begin in the second half of 2018.

Capital Expenditure

(in million EUR)
FY ended May 31,2017 FY ended May 31, 2016 FY ended May 31, 2015
Total 517 463 347

-The Company’s capital expenditure for the fiscal year ended May 31, 2017 was primarily dedicated towards the maintenance and expansion of buildings, plants, machinery, and other equipment.