ArvinMeritor Reports Higher Profits for 2Q

April 29, 2008
ArvinMeritor today reported that net income for the second quarter of fiscal year 2008 was $20 million

ArvinMeritor today reported that net income for the second quarter of fiscal year 2008 was $20 million, or $0.28 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $94 million, or $1.34 per diluted share in the second quarter of fiscal year 2007.

Sales were $1.8 billion - approximately $150 million higher than the same period last year, primarily due to the effects of changes in foreign currency.

Income from continuing operations, before special items, was $27 million, or $0.37 per diluted share, compared to $12 million, or $0.17 per diluted share one year ago.

Cash flow from operations, net of capital expenditures, was $134 million compared to an outflow of $71 million in the same period last year.

Commercial Vehicle Systems (CVS) EBITDA margins increased by 1.5 percentage points, before special items, in the second quarter of fiscal year 2008 compared to the same period last year, despite lower commercial vehicle volumes in North America.

Performance Plus initiatives were implemented during the second quarter that will result in savings of $32 million on an annual run-rate basis. The company continues to expect Performance Plus cost reductions of $75 million this year net of known risks; growth opportunities previously announced will provide incremental profit opportunities.

"In spite of the downturn in the North American commercial vehicle market that has lasted longer than we anticipated, and volume declines in the light-vehicle market in North America, we delivered strong results this quarter," said Chairman, CEO and President Chip McClure. "Initiatives driven through Performance Plus, including lean improvements in our global manufacturing operations, are helping us put in place a solid foundation for continued earnings growth."

The company originally defined three areas of Performance Plus as cost reduction targets: Direct Material Optimization, Manufacturing and Overhead. In the second quarter, achievements in each of these areas contributed to the company's cost reduction targets including:

-- In-sourced manufacturing for certain CVS products to result in annual savings of $7 million. -- Continued performance improvements resulting from implementation of the ArvinMeritor Production System. -- Selected a single source provider for North American industrial labor and global professional and clerical labor resulting in annual savings of $4 million.

Performance Plus also included initiatives to enhance the company's profitable growth. The following growth actions were implemented this quarter:

-- Awarded a long-term, multi-million dollar, supply agreement to provide remanufactured transmissions and axle carriers to Navistar Parts. -- Launched remanufactured transmissions in the Plainfield, Ind., aftermarket facility. -- Entered into a multi-year agreement with Tata Consultancy Services in India to enhance Light Vehicle Systems (LVS) engineering capabilities including product development and support in Asia Pacific. -- Re-established the company's off-highway original equipment and aftermarket components business in North America, South America, Europe and Africa. -- Awarded new business in conjunction with 2,200 new MRAP orders since January 2008. -- Booked new business with an Asian manufacturer to supply more than two million additional window regulator motors in China beginning in mid- 2008. -- Announced new products designed specifically for the Asian market including the New Asian Latch product range of modular door latch designs, and a new sliding door latch system.

In addition, several actions were implemented in the second quarter of fiscal year 2008 to improve the company's global manufacturing footprint.

-- Building three new light vehicle manufacturing plants in Asia Pacific to support increased business in the region. -- Began production at the LVS facility in Salonta, Romania, to supply window regulators, cables, latches and actuators directly to Dacia - as well as for export to Western European customers. -- On track for July 2008 completion of the company's new commercial vehicle Monterrey, Mexico facility; also upgrading the company's Asheville, N.C. axle facility to include a new carrier assembly line for the NG14X - the next generation line haul axle to be launched in February 2009.

The company's calendar year 2008 forecast for light-vehicle sales is 15.2 million vehicles in North America, down from the previous forecast. The company's forecast for Western Europe is 17.1 million vehicles, unchanged from the prior forecast.

ArvinMeritor's fiscal year 2008 forecast for North American Class 8 truck production is in the range of 200,000 to 220,000 units. The company's fiscal year 2008 forecast for heavy and medium truck volumes in Western Europe is 565,000 to 575,000. On a calendar year basis, the company anticipates North America Class 8 truck production to be in the range of 220,000 to 240,000 units; and heavy and medium truck volumes in Western Europe to be in the range of 580,000 to 590,000.