Despite a challenging economic environment, Bertrandt invests in the future and focuses on customers’ needs

Report on the 1st half 2019/2020

(Ehningen, 28 May 2020) In the past months, the entire automotive industry and also the Bertrandt Group were faced with a wide range of demanding challenges resulting from the coronavirus pandemic and the interruption of economic activity imposed by governments. This had an impact on Bertrandt’s total revenues. In the first half of the financial year 2019/2020, total revenues declined by 3.2% year on year to EUR 508 million. The Company responded to these market conditions at an early stage by implementing a catalogue of measures to protect value creation and optimise costs.

The novel coronavirus was spreading in China already in the first months of 2020, presenting entirely new challenges to the world and also to Bertrandt as a company. Almost all industries were forced to temporarily reduce their business activity or completely interrupt it. “Bertrandt responded to this development at an early stage and implemented a pandemic committee in early March 2020 to coordinate recommendations and measures regarding all aspects of the coronavirus crisis. Our employees' and customers' safety and at the same time maintaining operational capacity are our highest priorities”, says Markus Ruf, Member of the Management Board Finance at Bertrandt AG. The wide availability of mobile workplace solutions, high-performance IT infrastructure and high digital security standards – Bertrandt has obtained the TISAX certification – have enabled the Company to continue to work for its customers while at the same time protecting employees.

Our customers responded to the crisis by interrupting projects and production in the period under review in order to protect their workforce and to safeguard their own liquidity. This also had an effect on Bertrandt’s order situation. Our Company has met this challenge by introducing, amongst other measures, short-time working and a strict cost discipline programme. Before any investment decision is taken, possible short-term savings are identified, and only large-scale investments in future-related topics are made. The first effects from the cost-saving measures are visible. It is not yet clear how the virus pandemic and the shutdown will affect the German and global economies in the long run and what will be the implications of the sales crisis in the passenger car market for Bertrandt’s customers. Only in the coming months will we be able to assess the impact of these developments. In this context, Bertrandt’s Management Board withdrew its forecast for the business performance in fiscal 2019/2020 on 20 March 2020 and has not provided a new forecast.

Apart from the dramatic disruptions caused by the virus, the automotive industry is still in the midst of the transformation process. While the sector has to cope with challenges such as a growing diversity of electric vehicle models and leaps in technology in the fields of new drive systems or connected and autonomous driving, the resulting breadth and depth of topics offers sizeable potential for engineering service providers. As a reliable technology partner providing comprehensive solutions in all the disciplines for which there is demand, Bertrandt is taking on more and more responsibility in the development process. There is a growing need for interface management between new and established customers and for controlling and project management competence.

In the economic environment described above, the Company’s key performance indicators developed as follows in the first six months of fiscal 2019/2020: Total revenues declined year on year by 3.2% to EUR 508 million. EBIT was EUR 21 million in the period under review, which is equivalent to a margin of 4.2%. Post-tax earnings came to EUR 12 million. Equity was EUR 413 million in the first half 2019/2020, and the equity ratio was at the previous year’s level, without taking into consideration the new accounting standard IFRS 16 (incl. IFRS 16: 46.9%). Besides our strong equity base, a liquidity position of EUR 113 million and secured credit facilities of EUR 200 million ensure a solid financial base for Bertrandt in a challenging environment.

Apart from the omnipresent coronavirus crisis, the key megatrends promoting Bertrandt's business success, i.e. environmentally friendly individual mobility, connected and automated driving, and the increasing variety of electronic models and variants, are intact and offer business opportunities for the future. In the first half of 2019/2020, Bertrandt invested EUR 27 million in new test centres for different drive systems in order to respond to the high demand of its customers and their needs.

IFRS-based figures
for the Bertrandt Group

01/10/2019 - 31/03/2020

01/10/2018 - 31/03/2019

Total revenues (EUR million)

508.240

524.971

EBIT (EUR million)

21.238

35.822

Post-tax earnings

(EUR million)

11.959

23.368

Free cash flow (EUR million)

23.708

7.721

Capital expenditure (EUR million)

27.140

39.491

Equity ratio (in %)

46.9*

52.2

Employees worldwide

13,256

13,400

*without IFRS 16: 52.1% (previous year 52.2%)

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Julia Nonnenmacher

Public Relations

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Head of Investor Relations