He doesn't really have what it takes to be a prophet, although he is one of the most respected personalities in town: dr. Andreas thumm, chairman of the RTD management board, nevertheless announced good news from the headquarters of the automotive supplier yesterday: job security, no short-time work, excellent growth prospects. "We have good prospects that go far beyond what the company has known so far."
In connection with the start of series production of double-clutch transmissions for general motors, VW/audi and a chinese manufacturer, for which conversion work is currently underway at the fischbach plant, thumm expects a powerful boost in sales by 2017. "Eight to nine percent in the next few years. And with that we also want to improve the operating results further."
Increase operating results
And chief financial officer dr. Michael schneider assured that this targeted growth could be achieved "very well in terms of the financial structure, because we have consistently reduced debt over the last few years. Nevertheless, investments will continue: 25 million euros in 2012. "The high level will be further increased", so andreas thumm.
According to schneider's calculations, the return on sales after taxes was six percent. "And we still want to improve."
The cash flow for the past year was not quite so positive. Sales expectations had to be revised downward in the course of the second half of the year. "The sales problems of some of our customers in the european region have also hit us, with six to seven percent fewer cars being sold. Dr. Thumm: "we, too, have felt the effects of the difficult market situation."
Staffing levels will be maintained
That nevertheless no staff cuts were necessary, all trainees were taken on and even temporary employment contracts had to be entered into in order to "get the work done at all", according to the chairman of the works council, jurgen hennemann, this was due to the company's international orientation and its activities in the growth markets of the usa, china, mexico and brazil. A new factory with about 100 employees will be added in india before the end of the year. Hennemann: "we also supply the booming factories abroad with parts from the parent company."
In addition, there was also a strong increase in the spare parts business. FTE managing director thumm: "especially in the USA, the FTE brand name has established itself and is providing the necessary growth impetus." That's why thumm is also satisfied with the order situation in the german factories. Thumm: "even though the eu market for the automotive industry was sluggish and another minus four percent is forecast for this year,we are planning for slight growth and anticipate an increase in sales of ten million euros, which will also result in a slight increase in earnings."
Together with the construction of the new production line for the double-clutch transmissions in fischbach, this expansion of series production is also taking place in china, brazil and mexico. The spare parts business in eastern and western europe and the united states will also be expanded further. "This is how we achieve a good balance."
The product range is rounded off by brake calipers manufactured in eastern slovakia. "We started this in a joint venture in 2011 and recently already achieved stuck figures of 70,000. This year we are aiming to sell 100,00 brake calipers."