AB Volvo's CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

AB Volvo (VOLVY.PK)

Q1 2012 Earnings Call

April 26, 2012 8:30 AM ET

Executives

Olof Persson – President and CEO

Christer Johansson – IR

Analysts

Laura Lembke – Morgan Stanley

Nico Dil – JP Morgan

Frederic Stahl – UBS

Sébastien Gruter – Société Générale

Benjamin Maslen – Merrill Lynch

Presentation

Operator

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Volvo Report on First Three Months 2012. Today, I’m pleased to present, Olof Persson, CEO. (Operator Instructions) Afterwards there’ll be a question-and-answer session. Olof Persson, please begin.

Olof Persson

Thank you very much and good morning and good afternoon to you all and welcome to the first quarter 2012 Volvo Group presentation. Follow me to Page #2 in the presentation and I think we can conclude that the first quarter for the Volvo Group can be summarized with a good momentum on sales side. We have increased our sales year-over-year to SEK 79 billion and that’s a 10% increase and we are posting a 7.9% operating margin.

I will come back to the group to track some CE a little bit more in detail. Just let me have a few minutes on the rest of the operations that we do have. And let me start in the bottom with Financial Services, where we can conclude that in the first quarter, we had a SEK 10.4 billion new financing which is very much in line with the growth of the sales. So we are constantly having around 25% penetration, which I think it’s a good and a balanced way of growing our customer financing.

We also see that the result is improving. The operating income is posted at SEK 333 million, which is then a sign of that we work ourselves through the issues we had particular in Eastern Europe and we also having a good development in the rest of the financing activities that we have seen.

Volvo Aero, it’s very good to see that when the production disturbances and ramp-up issues that we have had in Volvo Aero for the last quarters, has been worked out. We can see that the profitability comes back up and we are posting a 14% operating margin in Volvo Aero, which is a good work done by the team in Aero.

Penta is still struggling with a lower sales, a very tough market on the marine side and also, a tough market on the industrial engine side. And the decrease of profitability in Volvo Penta is mainly due to the lower sales.

When it comes to Buses, 10% increase year-over-year in sales, mainly explained by Brazil and the fact that we did produce our chassis for the Brazilian market back-end of last year. Those chassis went then to partners outside Volvo Group for building on the super structures and then, going out to market and being invoiced. And that means that Volvo Buses did have the industrial coverage and the industrial activities last year, which they don’t have this year, corresponding to that volume. That one explanation to the lower margin, but we also had a very tough situation in Europe on the city bus side, with lower volume and also, under absorption in the industrial system.

Both when it comes to Buses and Volvo Penta, there are activities and the teams are looking on activities to make sure that we come back and restore the profitability going forward.

Follow me to Page #3 and we talk about the group. And as you can see, we’re now trailing at 12 months sales trend of SEK 318 billion and with an operating income of SEK 27 billion. And we’re posting a SEK 6.2 billion profit, operating margin, compared to SEK 6.5 billion last year. We should remember that Q1 last year had a positive impact on a tax return in Brazil and with a net positive impact of SEK 340 million sector.

I will come back to leverage, I’ll come back to the development on the profitability going forward.

On Page #4, I think it’s an interesting picture showing that we now have a global position that makes us in a position where we actually can counteract ups and downs in the different markets and thereby, despite we have lower than usual development for instance in Europe and South America, compensate that with other markets and posting a 10% increase coming from the SEK 70 billion up to the SEK 77 billion.

And that also is reflected on the right-hand side of the picture, where you can see North America, Western Europe and Asia now 24.9% and 25% of the business, which is balancing out throughout the globe. And I think this is a strength in the Volvo Group today, but we do have this geographical region and also, have the geographical distribution.

On Page #5, we then highlight some of the balance sheet items. And we can see then on the operating cash flow, we see we have a normal seasonal minus SEK 4.9 billion in operating cash flow, creating a 12 month rolling of SEK 13.2 billion. And I also would like to highlight in the middle there, the cash conversion cycle, that’s for first time ever in the Volvo Group is below the 20 days, recorded this quarter at 19 days. So there’s a lot of good work that has been done in order to ensure that we can grow our business organically with a very high cash efficiency.

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