All business groups are reported to have posted solid sales growth in the first six months of the year (at constant currencies), significantly outperforming worldwide automotive production according to Faurecia; Seating +8.8%, Interiors +14.7%, and Clean Mobility +9.7%. Growth was recorded in all regions in the period; Europe +10.9%, North America +6.2%, Asia +17%, and South America +17%. Faurecia’s total sales reached €8,991 million in the first half, up +10.9% excluding a negative currency impact of 5.6% and the Group’s operating income grew +11.1% to €647.2 million, with profitability up by 40bps, to 7.2% of sales.

In Seating, sales totalled €3,781.5 million in H1 2018, against €3,636.7 million in the corresponding period a year ago; up +4% on a reported basis and up +8.8% at constant currencies, outperforming by 700bps worldwide automotive production growth (+1.8%, source: IHS Automotive July 2018). According to Faurecia, sales growth was driven by double-digit growth (at constant currencies) in Europe (+13.5%), Asia (+23.2%) and South America (+20.1%), “largely offsetting the expected drop in North America (-9.6%), which reflected the ramp-down in production of the Nissan Altima model and Mercedes models (R-Class/ML/GL)”. Sales in the period included €50 million (or 1.4% of last-year’s sales) due to the consolidation of the JV with Wuling. Operating income in the Seating segment reached €221.5 million (vs. €199.9 million in H1 2017), representing 5.9% of sales, an improvement of 40bps year-on-year.

Faurecia says it expects worldwide automotive production to grow by at least 2% in 2018, year-on-year, in line with the latest IHS forecast (+2.3%, source: IHS Automotive July 2018), leading the Company to upgrade its forecast for 2018; sales growth is forecast to increase by at least +8% or 600bps above worldwide automotive production growth, with an operating margin of at least 7.2% of sales. The manufacturer says it is on track to achieve its medium-term financial targets, as announced during the recent Capital Markets Day, held in Paris in May, with sales of at least €20 billion in 2020. Read more here.