Knorr-Bremse Reports Solid First Quarter


MUNICH, Germany–Knorr-Bremse AG, a global market leader for braking systems and a leading supplier of other safety-critical rail and commercial vehicle systems, and parent company of Bendix, is off to a strong start in 2019, with healthy first-quarter earnings.

Revenues increased by 8.8% to EUR 1,755m after EUR 1,614m in Q1 2018.

Knorr-Bremse has done several M&A transactions over the last several months, such as the commercial vehicle steering business of Hitachi Automotive Systems.

During the first three months of fiscal year 2019, order intake of Knorr-Bremse Group grew by 5.3% to EUR 1,893m compared to EUR 1,798m in Q1 2018. With EUR 4,701m the order book reached a new record level after EUR 4,361m at the end of Q1 2018. The high level of order backlog, the company said, provides a strong outlook for the coming quarters.

There was also improvement of EBITDA and EBIT. Based on the strong revenue growth Knorr-Bremse Group generated in the first three months of 2019 an EBITDA of EUR 334m after EUR 295m in in the same period a year earlier (+13.0%). The result benefited from first time adoption of IFRS 16 which contributed EUR 13m or 70 bp. EBITDA-margin respectively reached 19.0% after 18.3% in Q1 2018, a plus of 70 bp.

Ralph Heuwing, CFO of Knorr-Bremse AG: “We have had a strong start into the year 2019. Our operating performance, both in terms of sales and earnings, is a convincing proof of Knorr-Bremse’s outstanding business model with a global presence and local production in all markets.”

Commercial Vehicle Systems CVS benefited from strong US market
Despite global economic uncertainty CVS posted high growth numbers. Its top line increased by 8.4% over last year´s first quarter and reached EUR 846m in Q1 2019. Increasing content per vehicle across the globe resulted in a higher demand for Knorr-Bremse products and systems of CVS.

Especially growth in driver assistance systems as well as the ongoing migration from air drum brakes to air disc brakes were the main drivers for the positive development of North American CVS business. The segment outperformed the truck production rate which advanced by only 1.6%. The European business showed a solid revenue development.

In the Asia/Pacific region revenues of Chinese business were moderately higher despite lower truck production rate. A stronger OE business resulted in a lower Aftermarket share in sales of 23% compared to 25% in Q1 2018.


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David Kiley is Chief of Content for The BRAKE Report. Kiley is an award-winning business journalist and author, having covered the auto industry for USA Today, Businessweek, AOL/Huffington Post, as well as written articles for Automobile and Popular Mechanics.