Rheinmetall Automotive AG again improved its profitability and showed a clear increase in operating earnings. For the first three quarters of the year the Group generated sales of €2,149 million (up from €1,992 million in Q3/2016). This represents a growth of €157 million or 7.9 percent. During the same period, operating earnings climbed 14 percent or €23 million to €186 million (up from €163 million). Hence, the operating margin of the first-tier auto-industry supplier rose from 8.2 to 8.7 percent. CEO Horst Binnig commented: "The sales and earnings growth in all three divisions shows that our product portfolio is moving in the right direction. Our future efforts will additionally focus even more closely on increasing our value-added share in the production of alternative drive systems."
With continued strong demand for fuel consumption-reducing products, the Mechatronics division boosted its sales by 9.2 percent to €1,214 million, and operating earnings by 25 percent to €130 million.
Benefiting from the ongoing global recovery in large-bore piston business and small-bore piston demand in Europe, the Hardparts division raised sales by 4.7 percent to €732 million and its operating earnings by 15 percent to €46 million.
In the Aftermarket division, sales increased 13.4 percent to €271 million during the first nine months of 2017, while operating earnings went up 14 percent to €25 million. This is mainly due to higher shipments of the Group's own brands, Kolbenschmidt and Pierburg, in the western and eastern European sales regions.
For the Chinese joint ventures not consolidated in the annual accounts of the Automotive sector, sales during the first nine months of 2017 grew from €620 million to €634 million, which represents a rise of 2.3 percent or – currency-adjusted – 6.1 percent, a level that significantly exceeds the overall market growth of 2.2 percent in the period under review. Net income totaled €33 million (up 10 percent). The wholly owned subsidiaries in China raised sales by 26 percent to €93 million and EBIT from €5 million to 8
Based on current expert forecasts regarding trends in global automotive production, which expect an increase of 1.9 percent this year, the Automotive sector anticipates a sales growth in the upper range of the previously predicted 6 to 7 percent. Rheinmetall Automotive's slight rise in profitability announced in August 2017 is reconfirmed, and for the full 12 months an operating margin of around 8.4 percent is expected.