Hutchinson SA Business report FY2007

Business Highlights

Financial overview

(in million euros) FY2007 FY2006 Rate of change(%) Remarks
Sales 3,022 2,932 +3.1 Sales increased by 5% at constant exchange rate. The worldwide automotive sales rose by 4.2%. The drop in vehicle registrations on mature markets, such as Western Europe and, in particular, the US, as compensated by the dynamism of the new growth regions of Eastern, South America and Asia.

Highlights of automotive-related activities;
<Fluid Transfer Systems>
Worldwide deliveries
-The air conditioning system of the new GM Vectra (Epsilon platform) is under development in Germany for a vehicle to be manufactured in Europe, the US and Asia. Other projects are ongoing for PSA 307/C4, Renault Logan and Ford (EUDC).

Major orders won for low-pressure applications

-In FY2007, the Company won major orders from for example Ford in the US in the low-pressure sector. A large order was secured for the fuel feed system for the international GM Delta platform (in partnership with Inergy). Significant production lines will be started up for this project in the near future in China and Mexico.

<Sealing Systems>
Chrysler opts for encapsulation (Rubber on glass)
-In the North American market, 70% of the vehicles set into production by Chrysler in 2007 (Jeep Patriot, Liberty, Compass, Wrangler, etc. ) are fitted with the rear door encapsulated (rubber on glass/thermoplastic on glass) modules.

Body Sealing Systems for BMW
-The new Porsche Panamera coupe model is equipped with the body sealing system supplied by the Company to ensure efficient sealing for high-speed driving.
The Company also developed a new body sealing system for the new BMW "Series 1", including three models: saloon, coupe and convertible.

Encoder seals
-Paulstra was chosen by Delphi and Schaeffler to supply wheel bearing and ABS magnetic encoder seals. A similar family of parts will be manufactured in France (Segre) for the European market, in Mexico (Ensenada) for the NAFTA zone and in China (Suzhou) for Asia. The aim is to supply these seals for the GM Astra and VW Polo production lines.

Multi-function bulkhead seal
-Catelsa designed a multi-material bulkhead crossing seal in cooperation with Audi and ZF Leksysteme. This part performs several functions between the engine and the passenger compartment (water-tightness, sound attenuation, thermal insulation) as well as accompanying the movements of the steering column.
The architecture adopted for modes A4 and A5 entails extremely strict thermal requirements. The double-wall design proposed by Catelsa complies with the manufacturer's specifications for acoustic comfort (with an attenuation of more than 50 BA) within a wide frequency range and in an especially compact space.

Increase production capacity in the East
-In order to meet the growing market in the Eastern Europe as well as to strengthen its competitiveness, the Company reinforced its production facilities in Poland (Lodz - plant 2) and opened a new plant in Romania (Brasov). These two plants fully cater to the needs of vehicle and OE manufacturers operating in these areas.

Air ducts for Audi and BMW

-The Company was chosen by Audi (model Q7) and BMW for all of the air ducts for new series (four vehicles). Compared with previous solution (compact plastic parts), the Company's solution is notable for its much better acoustic and thermal insulation performances. Another advantage is the use of light weight material which provides a weight reduction of nearly 80%.

<Vibration, Acoustic and Thermal Insulation>
European markets
-2007 was a year of industrial re-development: shutdown of the Madrid plant, starting up of Lodz 2 in Poland and Brasov in Romania.

Growth in dynamic area
-South American market was brisk. Sales increased by 67% in Argentina (Toyota Hilux), in particular. In Asia, Paulstra benefited from the production rise of several models: Ssangyong Rexton, Daewoo Windstorm and Ford Focus. Turnover increased four-fold in China, where the business line is backed by the Suzhou plant.

<Transmission and Mobility>
Studies on belt-alternator-starter
-In order to limit consumption and decrease CO2 emissions, the Company keeps studying about separate belt-alternator-starter systems which stop the engine when the vehicle is stationary. New-generation power transmission systems require the development of special belts which can adapt to significant variation in tension. Components are driven by pulleys and hydraulic tensioners.


R&D Expenditure

(in million euros) 2007 2006 2005
Total 150 149 143

Product Developments
Thermoactive snap-on
-The future EURO 6 regulations will require manufacturers to limit oxide emissions (NOx). One of the solutions adopted consists in injecting a urea based solution (SCR/Adblue system). The Company developed high-tech heating pipes to carry fluid which freezes at -11.

Investment Activities

(in million euros) 2007 2006 2005


99 137 136