TRATON generated good results in 2019 amid increasingly challenging market conditions

Coronavirus pandemic prevents any reliable guidance regarding business performance in 2020.

The TRATON GROUP increased both sales revenue and operating profit during the challenging year of 2019 and is now preparing to meet emerging economic challenges and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The brands of the TRATON GROUP have temporarily closed a number of plants in response the pandemic. MAN Truck & Bus filed an application for short-time work (Kurzarbeit) for workers in its German plants today. “In this crisis, the commercial vehicles industry will play an important role in the provision of food and medication to people,” said Andreas Renschler, TRATON CEO and member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG.

As one of Europe’s largest commercial vehicles manufacturers, the TRATON GROUP will assume the special responsibilities that have arisen from this emergency situation. “This is why we are going all out to continue providing service and replacement parts to our customers,” Renschler said. “Deliveries of food and medication can be assured only if overland transportation functions smoothly. In this exceptionally challenging situation that each of us faces today, the year of 2019 almost seems like ancient history. Nonetheless, we have every reason to be proud of our achievements.”

Outlook for 2020

“In our Annual Report, which was prepared as of February 10, 2020, we were expecting to record a moderate decline in unit sales and sales revenue for 2020,” TRATON CFO Christian Schulz said. But the ongoing coronavirus pandemic makes it impossible by now to forecast the developments in the sales markets and, therefore, the company’s business development this year in a reliable fashion. In this situation that is weighing on the economy as a whole, the fact that we are able to lean on a sound balance-sheet structure is to our advantage. For instance, the net liquidity in the Industrial Business segment totaled €1.5 billion at the end of 2019,” explained Schulz.

The TRATON GROUP at a glance

In 2019, revenue rose by 4% year on year and reached €26.9 billion. After adjusting for the sale of Volkswagen Gebrauchtfahrzeughandels und Service GmbH (“VGSG”) as of January 1, 2020, sales revenue increased by 6%. VGSG generated a sales revenue of €585 million during the previous year. The operating profit increased by 25% and reached €1.9 billion (previous year: €1.5 billion). The operating return on sales climbed to 7.0% compared to 5.8% in 2018. Order intake fell by 7% to 227,200 units. The book-to-bill ratio (unit sales divided by order intake) totaled 0.91 and recorded a decline compared with the previous year’s level of 0.95.

In the Industrial Business segment, sales revenue rose by 6% to €26.4 billion (previous year: €25.0 billion). The commercial vehicle business made the biggest contribution to sales revenue growth. The operating profit totaled €1.7 billion (previous year: €1.3 billion) and thus increased by 29%.

The Financial Services segment generated sales revenue of €849 million (previous year: €760 million) and an operating profit of €142 million (previous year: €138 million).