European car market stabilizes during 2018
The European car market remained stable during 2018, as 15.6 million vehicles were registered just 346 more than in 2017. It was the best result since 2007, when the market peaked with 16.02 million registrations. Strong results in Q2, where the market was up by 4.8%, and Q3, where the market was up by 1.1%, were enough to offset the large decline posted in Q4, where the market dropped by 7.5% and recorded its lowest volume since 2014.
Commenting on the year’s results, Mr Felipe Munoz, JATO’s global analyst, said that “The effects of WLTP and the lack of availability of many key versions affected registrations in Q4, which is not surprising given that by late November less than two in three versions available in Europe were homologated.”
Diesel vehicles posted their lowest market share since 2001, as demand fell by double digits in 20 of the 27 markets included in JATO’s analysis, with the biggest drops in the UK (-30%), Scandinavia (-22%) and Benelux (-22%). “Throughout 2018 we continued to see the effects of the diesel crisis, as announcements of policy changes by governments led to confusion and panic among consumers,” continued Munoz.
Globally, Europe was the world’s third largest car market behind China and the US, as strong results in Spain, Poland and the Netherlands were offset by falls in the UK, Italy and Sweden. Poland, Slovakia, Luxembourg and Lithuania all posted record levels of volume, while it was the best year since 2007 for Spain and Estonia, and the best year since 2008 for Romania, Hungary, Croatia and Latvia. In contrast, it was the worst year for registrations in Switzerland since 2010, the UK since 2013, and Norway since 2014.
Volvo Group announced that its Q4 and full year 2018 result. Mr Martin Lundstedt President and CEO said that “2018 was a record year for the Volvo Group. For the full year, we grew net sales by 17% to SEK 391 billion (333) and improved our adjusted operating income to SEK 40.7 billion (29.3), with a margin of 10.4% (8.8). Trucks, Construction Equipment, Volvo Penta and Financial Services all recorded their highest adjusted operating income ever. During the year we also continued to increase our financial strength. With an operating cash flow of SEK 26.6 billion we ended the year with a net cash position of SEK 43.9 billion in the Industrial Operations, excluding pension liabilities. This enables us to take on the future from a position of strength.”
THE FOURTH QUARTER 2018
In Q4, net sales increased by 16% to SEK 105.8 billion (91.6). Adjusted for currency movements and acquired and divested units net sales increased by 10%.
Adjusted operating income amounted to SEK 10,597 million (7,105), corresponding to an adjusted operating margin of 10.0% (7.8). Adjusted operating income in Q4 2018 excludes the previously announced provision of SEK 7 billion.
Reported operating income amounted to SEK 3,597 Million (7,105).
Currency movements had a positive impact on operating income of SEK 1,225 Million.
Operating cash flow in the Industrial Operations amounted to SEK 15.5 billion (14.4).
THE FULL YEAR 2018
For the full year 2018 net sales increased by 17% to SEK 390.8 billion (332.7).
Adjusted operating income amounted to SEK 40,660 Million (29,278) corresponding to an operating margin of 10.4% (8.8).
Reported operating income amounted to SEK 34,478 Million (29,678).
Operating cash flow in the Industrial Operations amounted to SEK 26.6 billion (28.4).
The Board of Directors proposes an ordinary dividend of SEK 5.00 per share (4.25) and an extra dividend of SEK 5.00 per share.
Source : Strategic Research Institute