Schaeffler has posted first quarter revenue of EUR3.3bn (US$3.7bn), slightly above the prior year level, with growth of 2.4% at constant currency.

From a regional perspective, it was primarily strong demand in China and Asia-Pacific, which contributed to additional revenue. The aftermarket business was also successful.

"Despite the challenging environment, 2016 has started off well for us," said Schaeffler CEO, Klaus Rosenfeld.

"At constant currency, our automotive business continues to grow significantly more rapidly than the market."

"The environment in the industrial business remains demanding. We are continuing to work diligently on improving the efficiency and competitiveness of our industrial business under our 'CORE' programme."

The company confirmed its guidance for 2016 as a whole.

The Schaeffler Group continues to anticipate revenue growth of 3% to 5% at constant currency, an EBIT margin of 12% to 13% before special items and a free cash flow of around EUR600m for the year as a whole.

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1ST QUARTER 2016

Schaeffler off to a good start into 2016

Revenue of EUR 3.3 billion slightly above prior year – increase of 2.4 % at constant currency

Automotive division again growing faster than market – demanding market environment for Industrial division

Earnings quality remains high – EBIT margin before special items at 12.6 %

Net income increases by 52 % to EUR 253 million

Outlook for 2016 confirmed

Automotive and industrial supplier Schaeffler has had a good start in 2016. At EUR 3.3 billion, revenuefor the first quarter of 2016 was slightly above the prior year level. At constant currency, the growth rate was 2.4 percent.

The Automotive business reported a growth rate of 2.4 percent compared to the prior year (+5.0 percent at constant currency), once more outpacing the increase in production volumes of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles (+0.9 percent). From a regional perspective, it was primarily strong demand in China and Asia/Pacific that contributed to the additional revenue. The Aftermarket business was also very successful. Schaeffler AG CEO Klaus Rosenfeld said: "Despite the challenging environment, 2016 has started off well for us. At constant currency, our Automotive business continues to grow significantly more rapidly than the market".

Revenue in the Industrial business decreased by 6.9 percent (-5.5 percent at constant currency). While certain sectors, such as wind energy and two wheelers, reported considerable growth rates, the low commodities and oil prices and the resulting economic uncertainties have adversely affected revenue, especially in the raw materials sector and the distribution business. Klaus Rosenfeld commented: "The environment in the industrial business remains demanding. We are continuing to work diligently on improving the efficiency and competitiveness of our Industrial business under our 'CORE' program".

Trends in the four Schaeffler Group regions' revenue differed. Revenue in Schaeffler's Europe region was down slightly by 0.5 percent (+0.2 percent at constant currency). The Americas region reported a drop in revenue of 5.6 percent (-0.1 percent at constant currency), a reflection not only of the weak industrial business but also of the uncertain economic situation in Brazil. Driven by the buoyant Automotive business, revenue in the Greater China and Asia/Pacific regions increased significantly by 5.5 percent (+8.0 percent at constant currency) and 9.9 percent (+13.4 percent at constant currency) despite the adverse impact of currency translation.

EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) declined by 3.0 percent to EUR 421 million compared to the prior year. At 12.6 percent, the EBIT margin level remained high. The company increased its net income by approximately 52 percent to EUR 253 million (prior year: EUR 167 million). CFO Dr. Ulrich Hauck stated: "The improvement in net income is mainly the result of our significantly improved financial result". The financial result for the first quarter of 2016 amounted to minus EUR 65 million (prior year: minus EUR 176 million). The prior year financial result had reflected one-time charges related to the early redemption of bonds.

The Schaeffler Group generated cash flows from operating activities of EUR 206 million (prior year: EUR 184 m) in the first quarter of 2016, representing an improvement of 12 percent over the prior year quarter. Capital expenditures amounted to EUR 318 million (prior year: EUR 244 million), bringing the capex ratio (capital expenditures in relation to consolidated revenue) to 9.5 percent (prior year: 7.3 percent). The resulting free cash flow was minus EUR 112 million (prior year: minus EUR 60 million).

Net financial debt amounted to EUR 4.9 billion as at March 31, 2016 (December 31, 2015: EUR 4.9 billion). On this basis, the ratio of net debt to EBITDA before special items was 2.1 at the end of the quarter (December 31, 2015: 2.1). On April 28, 2016, rating agency Standard & Poor's upgraded Schaeffler AG's company rating to BB from BB-. The rating improved as a result of the reduction in Schaeffler AG's debt using the proceeds of the listing in October 2015 as well as the successful placement of additional common non-voting shares in April 2016.

The company confirmed its guidance for 2016 as a whole. The Schaeffler Group continues to anticipate revenue growth of 3 to 5 percent at constant currency, an EBIT margin of 12 to 13 percent before special items, and a free cash flow of approximately EUR 600 million for the year as a whole.

Original source: http://www.schaeffler.de/content.schaeffler.de/en/press/press-releases/press-details.jsp?id=74104704

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