D as announced by Conti on Tuesday (23.2.) In Frankfurt . In view of the market slump in the automotive industry, sales fell by 17 percent to around 20 billion euros. 'The past year demanded a lot from us,' said Conti boss Elmar Degenhart. In 2010 the group is now aiming for a turning point.
Conti: Group result absolutely unsatisfactory
In the past year, there were uncertainties Banks and meanwhile virtually dried up financial markets hit the heavily indebted company based in Hanover 'in the marrow'. In addition, there were previously unknown market slumps. The earnings base has been torn away. The bottom line is that the group result is 'absolutely unsatisfactory'.
In addition to the massive drop in sales, the balance sheet was particularly burdened by high special effects - high depreciation on the company value in connection with the purchase of the former Siemens division VDO and expenses for plant closings. Overall, the charges from special effects had an impact of 1.76 billion euros. Adjusted for one-off effects, earnings before interest and taxes fell by a third to around 1.16 billion euros.
Optimism for 2010
Conti is now looking ahead to 2010 with cautious optimism, said Degenhart. 'Continental will pick up speed again.' The markets would have revived. In addition, Conti will benefit from increased cooperation with major shareholder Schaeffler.
Conti anticipates an increase in sales of at least five percent and a significant improvement in earnings for the current year. The aim is to return to the black below the line. But this will not be easy because there are still special charges. So the restructuring continues. There should therefore not be a dividend for 2010 either. Conti also wants to cut jobs this year. Degenhart spoke of around 1,000 jobs that could be eliminated. In 2009, the group closed plants and cut around 5,000 jobs. Conti currently employs around 134,000 people worldwide.
Particularly hard hit: the automotive supply business
The group recorded severe slumps in the past year, especially in its automotive supply business. GreatestThe problem child is the Powertrain division, which produces components for engines and transmissions. In the tire business, however, Conti was clearly in the black.
There are no plans to sell the tire division, said Degenhart. It was precisely during the crisis that it became clear what value the tire business had for the group. There was often speculation about a sale in connection with the planned merger with Schaeffler in order to get money into the till. After the capital increase of around one billion euros at the beginning of this year, Conti's net financial debt is currently around 7.8 billion euros.
Major shareholder Schaeffler is also heavily indebted
Both companies fought a month-long power struggle last year, which they finally ended with a fundamental reorganization of the Conti top .
There will be no early merger between Conti and Schaeffler. This was only planned 'in the medium term', said Degenhart, without giving a specific year. Both companies complemented each other 'perfectly' and could develop technologies faster and better together. Conti is strong in electronics, the family company from Herzogenaurach in mechanics. The groups are already working together in purchasing, among other things.