SAF-Holland’s Sales Up 19% in 2Q

SAF-Holland continued on its growth path in the second quarter following its already strong performance at the start of the year. Spurred by the strong growth dynamic of the European trailer market at the beginning of the year, sales grew in the second quarter by 19.9%. Accordingly the adjusted EBIT improved significantly by 57.7%.

“The strategic advantages of the business combination of SAF and Holland are becoming increasingly clear,” said Rudi Ludwig, CEO of SAF-Holland group. “We have expanded our strong international presence. Our productivity is improving step by step, and we are benefiting more and more from the technology transfer between the companies.”

For the first half of the year by, sales were up 11.3%. Adjusted for exchange rate effects, sales rose by 16.3%. The primary growth driver was the European business, which grew by 28.3%.

A relatively strong first quarter of 2007 still affected results in North America. In the early months of the previous year, new emissions regulations had led to pull-forward effects. Accordingly, SAF-Holland recorded a 2.6% drop in sales in North America in the first half of 2008.

The high rate of growth characterizing the European trailer market in recent years returned to normal as expected. Nevertheless, the Trailer Systems Business Unit’s sales grew by 19.9% in the first half of the year. Adjusted for exchange-rate effects, sales even rose by 22.5%.

A changed customer mix, and increases in the prices for materials slightly reduced the Business Unit’s gross margin from 13.4% to 13.0%. At the same time, SAF-Holland took an important step towards the further globalization of the business and the expansion of the trailer product line in Europe.

With the acquisition of a division of Austin- Westran, SAF-Holland assumed control of a landing leg production site in China. This acquisition gives the company a starting point for the expansion of the Asian business and simultaneously a manufacturing site for landing legs for the European market.

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