2018 results in line with our October 25, 2018 guidance
• Sales(1) of 19.3 billion euros, up 6% in 2018 and up 20% over the past two years at constant exchange rates
• Successful integration of acquisitions (Ichikoh in Japan, Valeo-Kapec in South Korea and FTE automotive in Germany)
• 3 percentage point outperformance (on a like-for-like basis) in the second half, an improvement compared to the start of the year
• Operating margin (excluding share in net earnings of equity-accounted companies) at 6.3% of sales
• Free cash flow generation of 161 million euros
Jacques Aschenbroich, Valeo’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented:
“2018 was a challenging year, characterized by a particularly volatile economic and geopolitical environment. Our sales were impacted by WLTP in Europe and by the sharp slowdown in the Chinese market. We responded to this situation as early as July, implementing a vigorous action plan aimed at reducing our capital expenditure and our costs. This plan will be reinforced in 2019.
In terms of growth, operating margin and free cash flow generation, we achieved our objectives for full year 2018 as revised in October.
Valeo is strongly positioned in the electric, autonomous and connected vehicle segment on a deeply changing automotive market. This is thanks to our capacity for constant innovation grounded in the synergies between our different Business Groups and in our unique portfolio of technologies.
Our order intake, including that of Valeo Siemens eAutomotive, represents 1.7x our original equipment sales and has grown 10% each year on average over the past five years, guaranteeing sustained growth in the next few years.
Despite a difficult environment continuing into the first half of 2019, this innovation strategy will allow us to improve our like-for-like growth and our outperformance relative to the automotive market during the year, driven mainly by the start of production on numerous projects in the ADAS segment with new-generation cameras, and in the electric vehicle segment, for example with new 48V systems.
In light of this context, the Board of Directors has decided to maintain the dividend at the previous year’s level of 1.25 euros per share.”
(1) For the sake of consistency in our financial communications, the sales figures presented below have been determined using the same accounting principles as in 2017 (i.e., before the application of IFRS 15).