Good News for Pilkington—North American Profits Up in Replacement
August 4, 2011

NSG Group has announced that its Pilkington Automotive North American auto glass replacement market increased its profits for the first quarter of fiscal year 2012, due to “higher prices in North America.” Specific figures have not been released, but worldwide the company reports positive results in the replacement market, describing the results as “robust with average price levels being higher than in the previous year.”

Despite the positive news in the replacement market, NSG reported an overall worldwide drop in both profits and revenues for the quarter for the automotive business. The company attributes the drops to the March 2011 Japan earthquake, though company officials say the earthquake’s “financial impact was less than expected.”

Overall Pilkington Automotive reports revenue of approximately $840.5 million (66.2 billion Japanese Yen) for the quarter, down from approximately $981.0 million (71.3 billion Japanese Yen) for the same quarter last year. Likewise, profits fell from approximately $57.1 million (4.5 billion Japanese Yen) to around $25.4 million (2.0 billion Japanese Yen) for the fiscal first quarter. According to the latest NSG financial report, company officials had expected to achieve profits of $12.7 million (1,000 million Japanese Yen) higher than the actual final figure.

In North America, the company also saw a drop in both OE profits and revenues. “Vehicle inventories held by manufacturers and dealers fell during the quarter, offsetting relatively strong consumer demand,” writes the company. In addition, the Japanese automotive manufacturers in the North American market also suffered from component shortages related to the earthquake, “and consequently had to restrict vehicle production levels during the period,” according to NSG.

In Europe, the company reports the OE demand was up—and therefore so was revenue, though specific figures are not provided in the report. However, despite the increase in demand European profits also fell, “due to increasing input costs and greater demand volatility arising from the effects of the Japan earthquake on the availability of components to European car manufacturers.”

In Japan, both revenues and profits also were significantly below last year, “as customers reduced their production levels in response to component shortages.”

Company officials say demand gradually improved, though, throughout the quarter, and they look to return to normal levels during the second quarter.

In the rest of the world, NSG reports an increase in revenues with further growth in volume, particularly in South America. Though profits fell in South America, company officials say they “were still at satisfactory levels.”

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