Automotive supplier Eberspaecher Group reported a solid 3.6 percent increase in its consolidated revenues for fiscal year 2017 and created 426 new positions worldwide during that period.
Eberspaecher, a family-run business founded in 1865 with global headquarters in Germany, said on Tuesday it now employs more people in foreign countries (4,942) than domestically, reaching a new worldwide total of 9,489 employees.
Martin Peters, managing partner for Eberspaecher, announced total revenues for FY2017 were approx. €4.5 billion ($5.34 billion) worldwide. Company officials attributed the improvement to the “growing global demand for exhaust-emission control technology.”
Eberspaecher said expects to report “high-level revenue” and better results in 2018. Operating cash flow also improved (up 9.1 percent), because of better procurement processes and stock levels, it was noted.
“Almost 70 percent of our revenue now comes from abroad,” Peters added. “Emission control technology accounts for a significant proportion of this. It has been and remains in very high demand, especially in view of the introduction of stricter emission standards worldwide.”
However, due to “amortization, depreciation and increased personnel expenses,” the company’s consolidated net income of €52.5 million ($62.34 million) was less than the €61.0 million ($72.43 million) reported for 2016. R&D increased 6 percent in 2017 to €156.5 million ($185.87 million versus €147.3 million), compared to 2016 ($174.94 million).
Peters also announced that the company “order books are full,” even as Eberspaecher concurrently improves efficiency and strengthens its innovations.
Peters said Eberspaecher established a new business innovation unit last year to better focus on developing new products that will “ensure clean, comfortable and safe mobility.” Eberspaecher is also investing additional funds on “new technologies for vehicles with traditional and alternative drives,” that the company predicts will result in “high-level revenue(s)” and better results for 2018.
Operations and new Eberspaecher plants also expanded worldwide to 80 locations in 29 countries.
With the consolidation of Eberspaecher Vecture, Inc., Peters said its new products should improve autonomous driving safety. It should also provide “electronic applications for reliable vehicle electrical systems, energy storage devices and high-voltage technology.”
Eberspaecher’s largest division, Exhaust Technology, reported revenues increased by 4.0 percent to €3,931.0 million in 2017 ($4.67 million). This was caused by more European customer requests for commercial vehicle exhaust technology, and increased sales in the automotive market in China, company officials said.
Peters noted that additional customers were brought in by the company’s new gasoline particulate filter that began series production last year, as did its close-coupled SCR systems for diesel vehicles.
Eberspaecher’s Climate Control Systems Division revenues were relatively flat for 2017 compared to 2016, with €495.3 million ($587.85 million) posted. However, revenues from bus air-conditioning systems and products for electric buses grew significantly, officials noted.
On the upside, sales of electric heater products for thermal management solutions—especially for hybrid and electric drive vehicles—are starting to ramp up, officials said. Manufacturing capacity for new climate control product orders in China was also expanded, and a new site was purchased in Hermsdorf, Germany, to build a plant for manufacturing ceramic elements, beginning later this year.