WINTERTHUR - Although it is well positioned for e-mobility and sustainability, low production volumes, geopolitical developments and a sharp rise in inflation impacted profitability at automotive components supplier Autoneum during the first half of 2022.
In a slightly declining market, with global automobile production falling by 1.8% in the first half of 2022 compared to the previous year, Autoneum increased revenue in local currencies by 0.5% to CHF 888.7 million, reaching the previous year's level. Despite the challenging environment, Autoneum also achieved a positive operating result of CHF 6.4 million although net income dropped to a loss of CHF 12.8 million.
Since the outbreak of war in Ukraine, new bottlenecks in global supply chains – a lack of cable harnesses, in particular – have impacted vehicle manufacturers’ production volumes and therefore dampened revenue and earnings development for the automotive supply industry in the first half of 2022, especially in Europe.
In addition, revenue in Asia declined because of the coronavirus-related lockdowns in China in the second quarter. In contrast, Business Group SAMEA (South America, Middle East and Africa) was able to considerably increase its revenue.
"Current geopolitical developments substantially affected business performance in the first half of 2022," the company said. "They are accompanied by accelerating inflation and significant price increases in the commodities markets, which the war in Ukraine has further exacerbated. These developments are also delaying market recovery in the automotive industry. Autoneum does everything it can to minimize the impact on the Group. Despite the present challenges, we will continue to implement our strategy, focusing on innovative and sustainable technologies for growing markets of the future."
Looking forward, Autoneum says it is very well positioned for the automotive industry’s transition to e-mobility and sustainability.
Its product portfolio suits all drive types, whether internal combustion, hybrid or pure electric vehicles, and is constantly being adjusted to new customer and market needs. Even today, it supplies many of the globally available electric models with components whose lightweight enables a greater driving range while also having a positive impact on noise emissions.
Autoneum says it expects disproportionately high growth in this fast-expanding segment of e-mobility in the future. Based on incoming orders, the share of pure electric vehicles in Autoneum’s revenue will surpass the share of this vehicle category in the overall market from 2023.
According to Autoneum, increasing customer demand for its environmentally friendly Autoneum Pure technologies also strongly supports its early orientation toward sustainable mobility. "This demand also confirms that Autoneum is very well positioned with its product portfolio to cater especially to the e-mobility market of the future," the company says.
Increasing requirements on sustainable mobility are also leading to stronger customer demand for fibre-based and recyclable products. "This trend is positive for Autoneum, since sustainable technologies and products that simultaneously fulfill acoustic and thermal requirements are a core competency," the company notes, adding that that it made it a priority focus in the first half of 2022 to expand and further strengthen the market position of its environmentally friendly Autoneum Pure technologies, which are suitable for all drive types.
In addition, Autoneum says it recognized the growing demand for noise-reducing, lightweight components in both the front and the rear of e-cars early on, and has therefore extended its proven concepts for sound-absorbing engine encapsulations to new applications related to electric drives.
With Hybrid-Acoustics PET, Hybrid-Acoustics FLEX and Fit FLEX, Autoneum now offers three standardized technologies that reduce noise directly at the source and thereby considerably improve driving comfort. All three technologies are produced waste-free. Furthermore, their adaptability to different sizes and shapes allows for a broad spectrum of uses in electric vehicles: from e-motor encapsulations to reduction of noise and vibration in inverters, gearboxes, pumps and compressors.
By offering different versions, Autoneum says it can cater flexibly to individual customer needs and preferences in terms of material composition, acoustic concept, sustainability and costs.