Autoliv Inc. (ALV) Q1 2012 Earnings Call April 27, 2012 8:30 am ET Executives Jan Carlson – President, Chief Executive Officer Mats Wallin – Vice President, Chief Financial Officer Mats Odman – Vice President, Corporate Communications Analysts David Leiker – R.W. Baird Stefan Burgstaller – Goldman Sachs Anders Trapp – SEB Philip Watkins – Citigroup Adam Brooks – Sidoti & Co. Johan Dahl – Erik Penser David Lim – Wells Fargo Securities Bjorn Enarson – Danske Bank Presentation Operator
Jan CarlsonOkay, thank you Mats. With that, we’ll turn the page where we find the Safe Harbor statement, which as you know is an integrated part of the presentation. During the presentation, we will reference some non-U.S. GAAP measures. The reconciliations to U.S. GAAP are disclosed in our quarterly press release and in the 10Q. Moving on to the next page, we continue to execute on our growth and operational strategies. In the first quarter we achieved a new record sales of $2.2 billion. This was mainly due to our strong growth in active safety China and Korea. This record sale performance was despite European light vehicle registration in March was the lowest level in 15 years. We met our EBIT margin guidance of 10% for the first quarter and we are on track to achieve our full-year margin indication of 10 to 11%, excluding costs related to capacity alignments and anti-trust investigations. We now anticipate the cost for the capacity alignment program to be in the range of 60 to $80 million in 2012. The majority of the cash outlay and savings for this are expected to be in 2013 and ’14. Over the last several quarters, we have gradually capacity in the growth markets and stepped up our technology investments for active safety. We will see the benefits from these investments accelerating during the second half of this year as we continue to increase our market share in both active safety and in China. Regarding the anti-trust investigations, we are able to report that we are making progress. Based on the current status of the U.S. investigation, the company has recorded an accrual of $14.5 million U.S. in the first quarter results. This reflects management’s best estimate at this time of the fine for the final resolution of the DOJ investigation. Otherwise, there is no further information that we are able to discuss since both investigations are still ongoing.
On to the next page, our sales increase of slightly more than 3% was one percentage point better than our guidance. The year-over-year margin decline of approximately 2% was due to higher raw material and R&D expense and our facility investments for growth along with underutilized facilities in Europe as a consequence of the sharp decline in light vehicle production. The negative raw material price effect of $15 million was in line with our expectation and should remain flat throughout the remainder of the year. Excluding the effects of the capacity alignment costs, our return on capital employed and return on equity remain very strong at 26 and 17% respectively.And lastly, our dividend paid to shareholders in the first quarter of $0.45 per share was the highest ever, and the total dividend amount paid was 29% higher than the previous high before the financial crisis in 2007. Since reinstating the dividend in 2010, we have returned almost one-third of our free cash flow to shareholders. Turning the page, we have the quarter one light vehicle production according to IHS. The light vehicle production was up 6% year-over-year. Our organic sales growth of 5% was according to our guidance. We continued to outperform global light vehicle production in regions except North America and Japan, and that’s due to the tsunami rebound effect. Since we have relatively low content in Japanese vehicles, this creates a temporary negative effect. Excluding the tsunami effect, we believe we would have outperformed the global light vehicle production with approximately 2%. Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com