Interiors supplier Grupo Antolin said sales and financial results “recovered progressively” in the second half of 2020, closing in recent months at the same level as the previous year, as trade revived across its main markets.

Q4 sales of EUR1,360m was similar to that of Q4 2019. Efficiency and cost containment measures saw Q4 operating profit reach EUR128.4m, higher than the EUR127.5m obtained in the fourth quarter of the previous year.

Overall sales in 2020 reached EUR3,975m, compared to EUR5,214m in 2019 due to a sharp 16% reduction in global vehicle production.

EBITDA fell 37% to EUR272m, due to the impact of market closures in the second quarter. Strong growth in China saw Antolin boost sales there 16.5% last year in contrast with the 4% global decline.

At the end of 2020, the supplier had cash of EUR402m, giving it flexibility to cope with future disruption in demand. Net debt fell by EUR85m during 2020 to about EUR800m. Since 2018, it has shrunk by EUR140m.

“Despite the weakness of some markets at the beginning of 2021, Grupo Antolin is optimistic in the performance of car sales this year, which will recover some of the loss suffered in the previous year,” it said in a statement. “The company expects a substantial improvement in its 2021 performance with strong revenue growth in all markets, especially in China, and its operating margins.”

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Results varied by region. Antolin highlighted a 6.2% increase in Asia-Pacific revenue, up to EUR507m due to growth in China. Europe income dropped to EUR2,006m from EUR2,642m in 2019 while NAFTA contributed EUR1,368m (vs EUR1,960m in 2019). Mercosur contributed EUR43m and Africa EUR51m.