ZF Friedrichshafen AG has reported that it generated group sales of €29.2 billion in 2015, which included a €8.9 billion boost from its “Active and Passive Safety Technology” division formed following the acquisition of TRW in May, 2015. Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) totalled €1.6 billion, which corresponds to growth of €498 million and an EBIT margin of 5.5%.
In line with the past few years, it was reported that business performance in the key regions varied in 2015. Sharp growth in the North America and Asia-Pacific markets and moderate growth in Europe contrasted with a continued downturn in South America. The company’s sales share in North America increased from 20 to 28%, while the share in Europe fell from 56 to 47%. The Asia-Pacific Region accounted for 22% of ZF sales (2014: 20 percent).
“2015 was an outstanding year for our company,” stated Dr Stefan Sommer, ZF Chief Executive Officer. “We celebrated our centennial and successfully completed the largest and most important acquisition in the company’s history.”
“I am proud to say that, in the past financial year, we laid the foundations for a sustainably successful future at ZF. We are networking mechanical components intelligently with control units and sensors. This way, we will be able to help shape the megatrends of safety, efficiency and autonomous driving even more effectively,” added Sommer.
Looking to the future, ZF stated that it assumes that the markets for passenger cars, as well as for light and heavy commercial vehicles, will show solid overall development. At the same time, ZF expects to see substantial sales growth in the Industrial Technology Division. Drivers in this sector include the integration of the industrial drive and wind turbine gearbox business acquired at the end of 2015 and the sound market position and development of the Wind Power Technology Business Unit.
ZF expects Group sales for 2016 in the region of between €35 billion and €36 billion. The expected sharp increase in sales compared with 2015 is essentially based on the first-time full-year inclusion of ZF TRW. Over the medium term, ZF expects to see overall growth of 7% for the ZF Group, which is above-average for the market as a whole.
“In 2015, we performed successfully and once again did better than in the previous year,” stated Sommer. “To ensure that we are also well placed for the future, we need to do our homework in 2016 and improve our results. This applies in particular to the German locations, which we need to make even more competitive.”