Press Releases, 12.05.2016

Preh Makes Further Progress: Profitable Growth and New Jobs at all Locations

New Sales, Order Intake, and Earnings Records - Strategic Acquisitions Further Strengthen Market Position

Bad Neustadt a. d. Saale, Germany. Preh GmbH continues to grow. Last financial year the automotive supplier and automation specialist increased sales revenues by 25 percent to a new record of EUR 763 million (2014: EUR 611 million). Preh’s major market success is reflected in an order intake of around EUR 828 million, which was a 28 percent increase on the previous year. In addition, profitability was further increased in 2015 despite continued heavy investment to ensure that the company remains competitive.

Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) were around 28 percent higher than the previous year’s EUR 54.5 million. They too set a new record of EUR 69.9 million. A positive factor was, again, that Preh had invested in the sustainability of both lines of business and locations. The company also benefits from its high equity ratio of over 40 percent and from correspondingly low interest costs. Fueled by successful business development, new hirings continue at all locations. At the end of 2015 Preh had a worldwide payroll of around 4,900 employees, or 16 percent more than the previous year (2014: 4,200). The upward trend continues at the company’s Bad Neustadt headquarters, where for the fourth year in succession since the acquisition by Joyson in 2011 around 100 new jobs were created, taking employee numbers in Bad Neustadt at the end of 2015 up by around 7 percent to 1,636 (2014: 1,534). The outlook for the current financial year is also positive. In the first quarter of 2016 Preh continued to achieve double-digit sales growth, and for the full financial year the management, headed by new CEO Christoph Hummel, expects further dynamic growth.

Preh anticipates an additional boost from two acquisitions completed at the end of April 2016. For one, Preh’s automotive business was lastingly strengthened by the purchase of TechniSat Automotive (now Preh Car Connect). Preh Car Connect GmbH is active in the car infotainment, connectivity and telematics segments and with 1,200 employees reported sales of around EUR 400 million in 2015. For another, the Preh subsidiary Preh IMA Automation (PIA) bridged a strategic gap and entered the North American market by acquiring the automation specialist EVANA (now Preh IMA Automation Evansville Inc.). PIA’s new U.S. company has 50 years’ experience in special machinery construction and with around 100 employees totaled 2015 sales of USD 24 million.

Presenting the balance sheet figures for the first time as the new Preh CEO, Christoph Hummel said “2015 was an extraordinarily successful year for Preh. All key performance indicators are on the increase and have set new records. In addition, the new financial year has gotten off to a highly promising start. Our continuous investment is bearing fruit. Furthermore, the acquisition of TechniSat Automotive and EVANA have taken us into a new dimension and lastingly strengthened our market position in both the automotive and the automation business. This makes it clear yet again that our partnership with our Chinese investor Joyson is a genuine success story.”

It’s not just the business figures that are right: Preh receives special award from Daimler

A recent high accolade awarded by Daimler AG demonstrates that the business figures are not the only ones that are right at Preh; so are quality and innovative power. For the development and manufacture of new multifunctional switches Preh received a special award from its customer Daimler. By using the touch control buttons integrated in the latest Mercedes-Benz E Class generation’s steering wheel switches, motorists can operate all of the functions of the electronic instrument cluster and central display without taking their hands off the wheel. That is undoubtedly a great leap forward in innovation with regard to safety and driving comfort. Preh CEO Hummel sees the award not only as praise for the company’s current innovative power and quality but also as an incentive for future projects.

Large-scale investment takes shape – Development center newbuild goes ahead on schedule

To ensure that Preh’s Bad Neustadt headquarters remain the driving force of innovation, the company last year embarked on an investment program totaling EUR 12.5 million that is making visible construction progress. The new Preh research and development center is under construction on a base area of 2,350 m2 and a gross floor area of around 8,200 m². With its attractive modern architecture it will be home to around 400 high-tech workplaces. The topping out ceremony will be celebrated in-house this Thursday. There will also be a big dedication ceremony when the building is completed in the 4th Quarter of 2016 as planned.