Bosch Oct-Dec sales rise 6.2% to $55.5 billion; margins up at 6.1%

30 Jan 2015


German automotive technology giant Bosch Group has reported a 6.2 per cent increase in sales at 48.9 billion euros ($55.5 billion) for the October-December 2014 quarter, on the back of rising demand for automated mobility solutions, which grew more than twice as fast as the automotive market.

After adjusting for exchange-rate effects, sales growth was 7.2 per cent. Sales results were negatively impacted by exchange-rate effects to the tune of nearly 500 million euros.

Bosh, also a  supplier of technology and services, also saw sales margin improve to 6.1 per cent during the quarter.

Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) came to nearly 3 billion euros, with an EBIT margin of roughly 6.1 per cent, according to preliminary estimates. This is roughly one percentage point better than the value for 2013, adjusted for one-off and extraordinary effects, the company said.

''Despite difficult economic conditions, we managed to meet our business targets for 2014,'' Volkmar Denner, chairman of the group, said. ''Our innovation strategy is paying off. Our business success over the past year is proof of this. In 2014 we further improved our market position and competitiveness in many areas.''

In addition, the acquisition of BSH Hausgeräte GmbH and the planned full acquisition of ZF Lenksysteme GmbH will enable Bosch to strengthen its position in the two growth areas of smart homes and automated driving, he added.

Business development in 2014 by business sector
According to preliminary figures, the Mobility Solutions - formerly Automotive Technology - business sector achieved significant sales growth in 2014. With its comprehensive portfolio of components, systems, and services, this Bosch sector was able to grow more than twice as fast as the automotive market.

Major drivers of the growth in automated driving technology included gasoline direct injection systems and high-pressure diesel injection systems, along with display instruments and infotainment systems, Bosch said.

Demand developed particularly well for communications systems and web-based video systems.

In consumer goods, Bosch enjoyed a successful 2014 with power tools for professionals and measurement tools. The industrial technology business sector's drive and control technology division was greatly affected by weakness in the mechanical engineering sector in important regions in 2014. Despite higher demand for packaging machinery produced by the packaging technology division, the business sector's overall sales were lower than in 2013.

After adjusting the 2013 sales figures for consolidation effects, the latest figures are slightly higher, Bosch said.

Group sales rose some 17 per cent in Asia Pacific. After adjusting for exchange-rate effects, growth there was roughly 20 per cent.

In North America, sales were some 8.6 per cent higher year-on-year. After adjusting for exchange-rate effects, sales growth was almost in double digits.

In South America, sales were down slightly year on year after adjusting for exchange-rate effects. In nominal terms, sales were more than ten per cent lower than in 2013.

In Europe, the sales of the supplier of technology and services grew by some two per cent in spite of the economic difficulties the region is experiencing.

In the years to come, the Bosch Group is aiming to seize the business opportunities in the areas of connectivity, automation, electrification, and energy efficiency, as well as through the increasing importance of emerging markets.

''We want to play an active part in shaping the wide-reaching and profound changes to our market and technological environment, and we want to prepare for a connected world,'' Denner said. Car, train, or bicycle - in the future, it will all be simply combined, he said.

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