Auto parts maker ZF says TRW integration on track, sees stable profits

Thursday, Aug 27, 2015

German auto parts supplier ZF Friedrichshafen said the integration of rival TRW is progressing well and it expected full-year sales and profits to remain stable, undeterred by a slowing Chinese economy.

"China is taking a breather after years of rapid growth," Chief Financial Officer Konstantin Sauer said on a call with journalists. "It is a temporary weakness which causes some insecurity."

Despite the China market rout, the maker of automatic gearboxes and other equipment expects sales of between 29 billion and 30 billion euros ($32.7 billion-$33.8 billion), and an operating profit margin of around 5 percent.

Unlisted ZF released first-half results for the first time in its history.

Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) increased to 857 million euros, up from 454 million euros in the same period a year earlier, rising mainly thanks to a one-off gain made from the sale of ZF Lenksysteme to Bosch.

Excluding special items, EBIT remained at prior-year level, ZF said.

The acquisition of TRW in May for $12.4 billion, is "making good progress," Sauer said, explaining that it will take between three and five years to integrate the auto supplier.

ZF has now replaced a temporary bridge loan to fund the acquisition with 5.4 billion euros worth of bonds, Sauer said.

No further debt issuance or other capital markets measures are planned, Sauer said, explaining that the company's existing cash flows were sufficient to help pay down debt.