Caledonia Mining Corporation Plc Results for the Quarter ended 31 March 2018

Caledonia Mining Corporation Plc (“Caledonia” or the “Company” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYYGO-DNYsM&list=PLBpDlKjdv3yq3mPe4_-LvOr9_6ij_XRiM&index=6 ) announces its operating and financial results for the first quarter of 2018 (“Q1” or the “Quarter”).

Gold production in the Quarter was 12,924 ounces, marginally higher than the first quarter of 2017 and in-line with expectations.  Adjusted earnings per share of 40.1 cents were 51% higher than the corresponding figure in 2017, largely due to a higher realised gold price, and the increased export credit incentive. Operating cash flows for the Quarter were $7 million and the Company’s balance sheet remains strong with net cash of $13.4 million as at 31 March 2018.

Commenting on the results, Steve Curtis, Caledonia’s Chief Executive Officer said:

“The first quarter of 2018 was one of very strong cash generation at Blanket.  The business generated operating cash flows after tax of $7 million which supported capital investment in the mine of $5.2 million and an increase in our cash balance at the end of the quarter to $13.4 million. As we continue to grow production to our target of 80,000 ounces by 2021, maintain cost control and benefit from economies of scale we look forward to further increasing cash flows and earnings.

“Gold production was marginally higher in the Quarter compared to the first quarter of 2017 and was in-line with our expectations.  We expect that production will deliver the usual increase in the second half of the year as we see the benefit of the increased level of mine development in the first half of the year, which will improve our access to higher grade areas.

“Profits in the Quarter benefitted from an 8% increase in the average realised gold price and a 3% reduction in all-in sustaining costs to $832 per ounce which contributed to a 10% increase in gross profit and a 35% increase in net attributable profit. On mine costs were marginally higher at $687 per ounce due to various operational factors which we expect to be addressed as the Central Shaft project is commissioned in 2020. Profit and cash flow were also boosted by the Government of Zimbabwe increasing the Export Credit Incentive (“ECI”) from 2.5% to 10% of revenue with effect from 1 February 2018.

“Regrettably our safety performance during the quarter was marred by a fatal accident at the mine on the 23 February 2018. My fellow directors and I express our sincere condolences to the family and friends of the deceased. The Company has embarked upon renewed efforts in the business to improve our safety performance.

“The Central Shaft remains a key enabler of long term value of the business and I am pleased to report that the project is progressing on schedule and within budget and importantly, remains fully funded by operating cash flow. For our technical team to deliver production and a transformational project for the business is a significant achievement. Following the decision to extend the shaft sinking project in November of 2017 the shaft has now reached 30 Level (990 metres) and work has commenced on establishing the station on this level.

“The operating environment and the investment climate in Zimbabwe continue to improve with government showing very pleasing levels of support of the mining industry, including the increase in the ECI for gold producers.  The Zimbabwe gold sector offers exciting opportunities but is in need of significant capital investment. In March, the government enacted legislation which completely removed the requirement for gold producers to implement indigenisation which has created the opportunity for Caledonia to potentially increase its stake in the Blanket Mine subject to agreement with our local partners. We have been encouraged by the level of support that the new leadership has shown for the mining sector and the Zimbabwean economy in general and look forward to the opportunities that the improving macroeconomic environment in Zimbabwe is likely to present.

“We maintain our guidance of 55,000 to 59,000 ounces for the full year and earnings guidance of between 165 cents and 190 cents per share.”

Strategy and Outlook

Caledonia remains on track to achieve the production target of 80,000 ounces by 2021 at its Zimbabwean subsidiary, Blanket Mine. The Company’s strategic focus continues to be the implementation of the Investment Plan at Blanket, which was announced in November 2014 and is expected to extend the life of mine by providing access to deeper levels for production and further exploration.  Implementation of the Investment Plan remains on target in terms of timing and cost.  Caledonia’s board and management believe the successful implementation of the Investment Plan is in the best interests of all stakeholders because it is expected to result in increased production, reduced operating costs and greater flexibility to undertake further exploration and development, thereby safeguarding and enhancing Blanket’s long-term future.  Caledonia’s cash position is expected to improve as a result of the implementation of the Investment Plan; Caledonia will continue to assess new opportunities to invest surplus cash.

Dividend Policy

On 4 July 2017, following the consolidation on 26 June 2017 of the Company’s shares, the Company announced an increased quarterly dividend of 6.875 cents per share which was paid on 28 July 2017 and further quarterly dividends of the same amount were paid on 27 October 2017, 26 January 2018 and 27 April 2018. The dividend of 6.875 cents per share effectively maintains the dividend at the previous level of 1.375 cents per share, after adjusting for the effect of the one-for-five share consolidation. The quarterly dividend of 6.875 cents is Caledonia’s current dividend policy which it is envisaged will be maintained.

Following the implementation of indigenisation in September 2012, Caledonia owns 49 per cent of the Blanket Mine in Zimbabwe. Caledonia continues to consolidate Blanket and the operational and the financial information set out below is on a 100 per cent basis unless otherwise indicated.

Cautionary Note Concerning Forward-Looking Information

Information and statements contained in this news release that are not historical facts are “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable securities legislation that involve risks and uncertainties relating, but not limited to Caledonia’s current expectations, intentions, plans, and beliefs.  Forward-looking information can often be identified by forward-looking words such as “anticipate”, “believe”, “expect”, “goal”, “plan”, “target”, “intend”, “estimate”, “could”, “should”, “may” and “will” or the negative of these terms or similar words suggesting future outcomes, or other expectations, beliefs, plans, objectives, assumptions, intentions or statements about future events or performance. Examples of forward-looking information in this news release include: production guidance, estimates of future/targeted production rates, and our plans and timing regarding further exploration and drilling and development.  This forward-looking information is based, in part, on assumptions and factors that may change or prove to be incorrect, thus causing actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by forward-looking information.  Such factors and assumptions include, but are not limited to: failure to establish estimated resources and reserves, the grade and recovery of ore which is mined varying from estimates, success of future exploration and drilling programs, reliability of drilling, sampling and assay data, assumptions regarding the representativeness of mineralization being inaccurate, success of planned metallurgical test-work, capital and operating costs varying significantly from estimates, delays in obtaining or failures to obtain required governmental, environmental or other project approvals, inflation, changes in exchange rates, fluctuations in commodity prices, delays in the development of projects and other factors.

Potential shareholders and prospective investors should be aware that these statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those suggested by the forward-looking statements.  Such factors include, but are not limited to: risks relating to estimates of mineral reserves and mineral resources proving to be inaccurate, fluctuations in gold price, risks and hazards associated with the business of mineral exploration, development and mining, risks relating to the credit worthiness or financial condition of suppliers, refiners and other parties with whom the Company does business; inadequate insurance, or inability to obtain insurance, to cover these risks and hazards, employee relations; relationships with and claims by local communities and indigenous populations; political risk; availability and increasing costs associated with mining inputs and labour; the speculative nature of mineral exploration and development, including the risks of obtaining or maintaining necessary licenses and permits, diminishing quantities or grades of mineral reserves as mining occurs; global financial condition, the actual results of current exploration activities, changes to conclusions of economic evaluations, and changes in project parameters to deal with unanticipated economic or other factors, risks of increased capital and operating costs, environmental, safety or regulatory risks, expropriation, the Company’s title to properties including ownership thereof, increased competition in the mining industry for properties, equipment, qualified personnel and their costs, risks relating to the uncertainty of timing of events including targeted production rate increase and currency fluctuations.  Shareholders are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking information.  By its nature, forward-looking information involves numerous assumptions, inherent risks and uncertainties, both general and specific, that contribute to the possibility that the predictions, forecasts, projections and various future events will not occur.  Caledonia undertakes no obligation to update publicly or otherwise revise any forward-looking information whether as a result of new information, future events or other such factors which affect this information, except as required by law.

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Caledonia Mining Corporation Plc – Caledonia declares quarterly dividend of 6.875 cents per share (NYSE AMERICAN: CMCL, AIM: CMCL; TSX: CAL)

Caledonia Mining Corporation Plc (“Caledonia” or the “Company” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7aQP-cMNrOI&t=10s) today announces that its board of directors has declared a dividend of six and seven eighths United States cents (US$0.06875) on each of the Company’s common shares.

The relevant dates relating to the dividend are as follows:

  • Ex-dividend date: April 12, 2018
  • Record date: April 13, 2018
  • Dividend cheque mailing date: April 27, 2018

Shareholders and depositary interest holders in Canada and the UK will be paid in Canadian Dollars and Sterling respectively.  The Canadian Dollar and Sterling dividend payments will be calculated using the relevant Bank of Canada exchange rates on the record date. 

Steve Curtis, Chief Executive Officer, said:

“Caledonia maintains its 6.875 cents per share quarterly dividend following a year of strong cash generation in 2017 during which Blanket Mine was able to support both the significant capital investment in the Central Shaft project and dividend payments to its shareholders.

“The business continues its strategic investment in the Central Shaft project, having announced towards the end of last year a significant further increase in Blanket Mine’s resource base and consequently a planned deepening of the Central Shaft in order to access these resources. The Central Shaft has approximately two years of significant capital investment in 2018 and 2019 remaining after which it is expected to be in production in 2020 when the business is anticipated to see a period of substantially increased free cash flow as capital investment declines.

Caledonia is targeting production of between 55,000 and 59,000 ounces of gold in 2018 as it continues to make progress towards its goal of 80,000 ounces per year by 2021 upon completion of the Central Shaft.”

Caledonia’s Dividend Policy

Caledonia’s strategy to maximise shareholder value includes a quarterly dividend policy which the board of directors adopted in 2014.

It is expected that the current dividend of twenty-seven and a half United States cents per annum, paid in equal quarterly instalments, will be maintained. 

Effect of the re-domicile from Canada to Jersey, Channel Islands

Following the re-domicile of the Company from Canada to Jersey with effect from March 19, 2016, the dividend is no longer subject to Canadian withholding tax and it is no longer eligible for the purposes of the Income Tax Act (Canada).

About Caledonia Mining

Caledonia’s primary asset is a 49% interest in an operating gold mine in Zimbabwe (“Blanket Mine”).  Caledonia’s shares are listed on NYSE American (symbol: CMCL) and on the Toronto Stock Exchange (symbol: CAL) and depositary interests representing the shares are traded on London’s AIM (symbol: CMCL). 

As at December 31, 2017, Caledonia had cash of approximately US$12.8m.  Blanket Mine plans to increase production from 56,136 ounces of gold in 2017 to approximately 80,000 ounces by 2021; Blanket Mine’s target production for 2018 is 55,000 to 59,000 ounces. Caledonia expects to publish its results for the quarter to March 31, 2018 on or about May 14, 2018.

For further information please contact:

Caledonia  Mining Corporation Plc
Mark Learmonth                                               Tel: +44 1534 679 802
Maurice Mason                                                 Tel: +44 759 078 1139

WH Ireland
Adrian Hadden/Ed Allsopp                             Tel: +44 20 7220 1751

Blytheweigh
Tim Blythe/Camilla Horsfall/Megan Ray      Tel: +44 207 138 3204

Swiss Resource Capital AG                           
Jochen Staiger                                                 
info@resource-capital.ch
www.resource-capital.ch

Cautionary Note Concerning Forward-Looking Information

Information and statements contained in this news release that are not historical facts are “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable securities legislation that involve risks and uncertainties relating, but not limited to Caledonia’s current expectations, intentions, plans, and beliefs.  Forward-looking information can often be identified by forward-looking words such as “anticipate”, “believe”, “expect”, “goal”, “plan”, “target”, “intend”, “estimate”, “could”, “should”, “may” and “will” or the negative of these terms or similar words suggesting future outcomes, or other expectations, beliefs, plans, objectives, assumptions, intentions or statements about future events or performance. Examples of forward-looking information in this news release include: production guidance, estimates of future/targeted production rates, our plans and timing regarding further exploration and drilling and development,.  This forward-looking information is based, in part, on assumptions and factors that may change or prove to be incorrect, thus causing actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by forward-looking information.  Such factors and assumptions include, but are not limited to: failure to establish estimated resources and reserves, the grade and recovery of ore which is mined varying from estimates, success of future exploration and drilling programs, reliability of drilling, sampling and assay data, assumptions regarding the representativeness of mineralization being inaccurate, success of planned metallurgical test-work, capital and operating costs varying significantly from estimates, delays in obtaining or failures to obtain required governmental, environmental or other project approvals, inflation, changes in exchange rates, fluctuations in commodity prices and delays in the development of projects.

Shareholders, potential shareholders and other prospective investors should be aware that these statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those suggested by the forward-looking statements.  Such factors include, but are not limited to: risks relating to estimates of mineral reserves and mineral resources proving to be inaccurate, fluctuations in gold price, risks and hazards associated with the business of mineral exploration, development and mining, risks relating to the credit worthiness or financial condition of suppliers, refiners and other parties with whom the Company does business; inadequate insurance, or inability to obtain insurance, to cover these risks and hazards, employee relations; relationships with and claims by local communities and indigenous populations; political risk; availability and increasing costs associated with mining inputs and labour; the speculative nature of mineral exploration and development, including the risks of obtaining or maintaining necessary licenses and permits, diminishing quantities or grades of mineral reserves as mining occurs; global financial condition, the actual results of current exploration activities, changes to conclusions of economic evaluations, and changes in project parameters to deal with unanticipated economic or other factors, risks of increased capital and operating costs, environmental, safety or regulatory risks, expropriation, the Company’s title to properties including ownership thereof, increased competition in the mining industry for properties, equipment, qualified personnel and their costs and risks relating to the uncertainty of timing of events including targeted production rate increase.  Shareholders are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking information.  By its nature, forward-looking information involves numerous assumptions, inherent risks and uncertainties, both general and specific, that contribute to the possibility that the predictions, forecasts, projections and various future events will not occur.  Caledonia undertakes no obligation to update publicly or otherwise revise any forward-looking information whether as a result of new information, future events or other such factors which affect this information, except as required by law.

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USU Software AG announces figures for 2017, dividend proposal and guidance for 2018

  • Strong license business in fourth quarter of 2017
  • Sales growth of 17% for year as a whole
  • Earnings shaped by trend towards SaaS solutions and investments outside Germany
  • Dividend proposal of EUR 0.40 per share
  • Orders on hand up more than 11% as of December 31, 2017
  • Further growth forecast for 2018

USU Software AG (hereinafter “USU”, ISIN DE000A0BVU28) announced its figures for 2017 today. In the final quarter, USU increased its IFRS consolidated sales by 23% to EUR 25.5 million (Q4/2016: EUR 20.7 million). This positive development was due in particular to further growth in software license business. In Q4/2017, USU recorded a year-on-year increase in license sales of 49% to EUR 6.4 million (Q4/2016: EUR 4.3 million). Thanks to increased SaaS income, maintenance business also rose by 17% to EUR 6 million (Q4/2016: EUR 5.1 million). Consulting business grew by 8% to EUR 11.8 million in the same period (Q4/2016: EUR 10.9 million). Due to increased investments outside Germany for the further expansion of international business, adjusted EBIT declined by 12% year-on-year to EUR 3.8 million (Q4/2016: EUR 4.3 million). At the same time, USU increased its consolidated net profit by 19% compared with the same period of the previous year to EUR 3.4 million (Q4/2016: EUR 2.9 million).

On a full-year basis, sales rose by 17% to EUR 84.4 million (2016: EUR 72.1 million). This positive development was primarily driven by domestic business, while sales of software licenses outside Germany saw more muted development during the year as a result of the trend towards SaaS business. Increased investments outside Germany meant that earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) declined by 37% year-on-year to EUR 6.8 million (2016: EUR 10.8 million), while EBIT for the year as a whole totaled EUR 3.2 million (2016: EUR 8.3 million). EBIT adjusted for acquisition effects (adjusted EBIT) fell by around one-third as against the previous year to EUR 6.1 million (2016: EUR 9.6 million). Consolidated net profit for 2017 halved to EUR 3.4 million (2016: EUR 6.8 million). Accordingly, earnings per share amounted to EUR 0.32 (2016: EUR 0.64).

In line with the Company’s strategy of distributing a dividend that is never lower than the previous year and that corresponds to around half of the profit generated, the Management Board has proposed the payment of a dividend of EUR 0.40 per share as in the previous year.

In the 2018 fiscal year, the Management Board expects the Company to continue on the positive growth path recorded in recent years in terms of adjusted EBIT and sales, although this growth will be curbed slightly by the trend towards SaaS business. The first positive effects from investments outside Germany will be seen in the current fiscal year, although the full effect will only be felt with some delay. At the same time, business in Germany is expected to continue to develop successfully.

All in all, the Management Board expects to significantly outperform the market in terms of growth once again in the 2018 fiscal year. One key indicator supporting this forecast is Group-wide orders on hand, which increased by over 11% year-on-year to more than EUR 44 million as of December 31, 2017 (2016: EUR 39.5 million). Accordingly, the forecast for 2018 involves an increase in consolidated sales to between EUR 93 million and EUR 98 million, accompanied by an above-average rise in adjusted EBIT to EUR 7.5-10 million. The Management Board is also confirming its medium-term forecast to 2021, with consolidated sales of EUR 140 million and adjusted EBIT of EUR 20 million. Strategic planning is focused on the three established growth pillars of the USU Group: increased internationalization, the development and launch of new product innovations, and inorganic growth through acquisitions.

This press release can be downloaded at https://www.usu.de/en/

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Schaeffler increases net income by 14 percent in 2017

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  • 2017 revenue increases by 5.9 percent at constant currency
  • 2017 EBIT margin before special items at 11.3 percent (prior year: 12.7 percent)
  • Net income increases by approximately 14 percent to 980 million euros
  • Approximately 1.3 billion euros invested, 3,500 new jobs created
  • Net financial debt further reduced, quality of balance sheet further improved
  • Program for the future “Agenda 4 plus One” on track, three divisions going forward
  • Outlook 2018 positive despite imponderables

Global automotive and industrial supplier Schaeffler increased its revenue to 14.0 billion euros (prior year: 13.3 billion euros) in 2017, growing by 5.9 percent at constant currency. The company’s EBIT margin for 2017 amounted to 11.3 percent (prior year: 12.7 percent). The decrease is primarily due to expenses for the program for the future “Agenda 4 plus One”. Net income attributable to shareholders increased by approximately 14 percent to 980 million euros (prior year: 859 million euros) nonetheless, the highest ever in the history of the Schaeffler Group.

In 2017, the Schaeffler Group increased its capital expenditures by 127 million euros to 1,273 million euros (prior year: 1,146 million euros) and created approximately 3,500 new jobs. The number of employees rose to more than 90,000 (prior year: approximately 86,700) by the end of 2017. Free cash flow for 2017 came in at 488 million euros (prior year: 735 million euros) due to the high level of capital expenditures, and the company further reduced its net financial debt. With its program for the future “Agenda 4 plus One”, the Schaeffler Group is firmly aligning itself toward the future. Despite current imponderables, the outlook for the year 2018 remains generally positive.

Revenue increases by 5.9 percent at constant currency

Both of the company’s divisions and all four of its regions contributed to the encouraging revenue trend in 2017. While Automotive division revenue increased to 10.9 billion euros (prior year: approximately 10.3 billion euros), representing a constant currency growth rate of 5.9 percent, the Industrial division grew its revenue to approximately 3.1 billion euros in 2017. At constant currency, this represents a growth rate of 5.7 percent.

Thanks to the strong second half of the year, the Automotive division has once again grown faster than the market – global production of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles – for the full year. Given market growth of approximately 2.1 percent in 2017, the division has outperformed the market by 3.8 percent. The strong growth of the Automotive division was driven by both Automotive OEM (up 6.5 percent at constant currency) and Automotive Aftermarket (up 3.2 percent at constant currency). The Industrial division has returned to a growth path, with industrial applications especially in the “power transmission” (including electric motors, hydraulics, and transmissions), “offroad” (agricultural engineering and construction machinery), and “raw materials” (raw material extraction and processing) sectors  contributing double-digit growth rates.

All regions of the Schaeffler Group contributed to the increase in revenue in 2017. The Greater China region once again turned in the highest constant currency growth rate of 24.1 percent. Asia/Pacific was up 5.6 percent at constant currency. In the Americas region, revenue was up 4.6 percent at constant currency, while Europe expanded by 1.4 percent at constant currency.

2017 EBIT margin before special items at 11.3 percent (prior year: 12.7 percent)

Earnings before financial result and income taxes (EBIT) before special items were 1,584 million euros (prior year: 1,700 million euros), resulting in an EBIT margin before special items of 11.3 percent (prior year: 12.7 percent). Special items of 56 million euros consisted mainly of restructuring expenses. The lower EBIT margin is largely due to the additional expenditures related to the program for the future “Agenda 4 plus One”. These expenditures amounted to approximately 160 million euros or about 1.1 percent of revenue. The program for the future consisting of 20 initiatives is designed to align the Schaeffler Group toward the future for the long term.

Net income increases by approximately 14 percent to 980 million euros

Despite the adverse impact from operations, net income attributable to shareholders increased by approximately 14 percent to 980 million euros (prior year: 859 million euros) since the financial result improved. That is the highest net income the Schaeffler Group has generated to date. Based on the encouraging results of operations, the Board of Managing Directors is proposing to raise the dividend by 5 cents to 55 cents per common nonvoting share. This represents a dividend payout ratio of approximately 35 percent (prior year: approximately 34 percent) of net income attributable to shareholders before special items.

Approximately 1.3 billion euros invested, 3,500 new jobs created

The Schaeffler Group expanded its capital expenditures by 127 million euros to 1,273 million euros (prior year: 1,146 million euros). This resulted in a capex ratio, or capital expenditures as a percentage of consolidated revenue, of 9.1 percent (prior year: 8.6 percent).

The Schaeffler Group has also generated 3,489 new jobs in 2017. As at December 31, 2017, the group had 90,151 employees worldwide, 4 percent more than in the prior year. The headcount in Germany increased by about 500 to 31,700 employees.

Klaus Rosenfeld, CEO of Schaeffler AG, stated: “In 2017, the Schaeffler Group has invested more than ever before. These investments, including those under our program for the future ‘Agenda 4 plus One’, secure the company’s continuing profitable growth and value creation. They are also the basis for bringing our EBIT before special items back to its longstanding average of 12 to 13 percent and for achieving the financial ambitions we have set for 2020.”

Net financial debt further reduced, quality of balance sheet further improved

The company lowered its net financial debt by approximately 266 million euros over the course of 2017. Net financial debt amounted to 2,370 million euros as at December 31, 2017 (prior year: 2,636 million euros). This decrease has improved the net debt to EBITDA ratio before special items, i.e. the ratio of net financial debt to EBITDA before special items, from 1.1x to 1.0x in 2017.

Free cash flow for 2017 came in at 488 million euros (prior year: 735 million euros). This figure includes approximately 27 million euros in net cash outflows for M&A activities. Excluding these outflows, free cash flow was slightly higher than the guidance for the full year 2017 of approximately 500 million euros.

“We were able to further reduce our net financial debt and thus create additional financial flexibility for the Schaeffler Group in 2017. This is essential to our ability to grow externally in the future, as well,” said Dietmar Heinrich, CFO of Schaeffler AG.

Program for the future “Agenda 4 plus One” on track, three divisions going forward

In 2016, Schaeffler developed and started its program for the future, “Agenda 4 plus One”, which is designed to position the Schaeffler Group for success in meeting the challenges of the future, thus laying the foundation for continued profitable long-term growth. In 2017, the program was expanded to 20 initiatives and its implementation accelerated.

In addition, the Schaeffler Group has a new corporate structure. The Automotive Aftermarket was added as the company’s third division along with Automotive OEM and Industrial effective January 01, 2018. The new division is headed up by Michael Söding, CEO Automotive Aftermarket. The three divisions of the Schaeffler Group will in future be managed from divisional headquarters located in Buehl, Langen, and Schweinfurt. The Automotive OEM division will be headquartered in Buehl. The new Automotive Aftermarket division is managed from Langen. The Industrial division continues to be located in Schweinfurt. The corporate head office of the Schaeffler Group is in Herzogenaurach. This new decentralized structure shapes the Schaeffler Group’s future, makes it even more market-oriented, simplifies the company’s structures, and speeds up decision-making.

The company is also still consistently pursuing its “One Schaeffler” approach. With one common strategy “Mobility for tomorrow”, a uniform remuneration system, four common values, and one common corporate brand “Schaeffler”. Please refer to the second press release “Schaeffler pushes ahead with key future program” for further details.

Outlook 2018 positive despite imponderables

Despite the imponderables affecting 2018, the Schaeffler Group expects its revenue to grow by 5 to 6 percent excluding the impact of currency translation. In addition, the company expects to generate an EBIT margin before special items of 10.5 to 11.5 percent in 2018. The group also anticipates approximately 450 million euros in free cash flow before cash in- and outflows for M&A activities in 2018.

The Schaeffler Group anticipates that its Automotive OEM division will continue to outperform the global automobile production of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles, expected to expand by about 2 percent, in 2018. Based on this anticipated outperformance, the Schaeffler Group expects its Automotive OEM division to generate revenue growth excluding the impact of translation of 6 to 7 percent (2017: 6.5 percent). This expectation is supported by orders won in the 2017 reporting period, known as lifetime sales, of 11.5 billion euros. The company also expects an EBIT margin before special items of between 9.5 and 10.5 percent for 2018 (2017: 10.8 percent) for the Automotive OEM division.

Based on stable growth in the global vehicle population and a nearly unchanged average vehicle age, the Aftermarket business will continue to grow as well. Based on its own observation of the market, the group expects the Automotive Aftermarket division to generate revenue growth – excluding the impact of currency translation – of 3 to 4 percent (2017: 3.2 percent) and an EBIT margin before special items of 16.5 to 17.5 percent in 2018 (2017: 19.0 percent).

In the Industrial division, an encouraging trend in order intake combined with the economic environment in certain sectors suggests a further increase in revenue in 2018. Based on these considerations, the company expects its Industrial division to generate 3 to 4 percent (2017: 5.7 percent) in revenue growth in 2018, excluding the impact of currency translation. In addition, the Industrial division anticipates generating an EBIT margin before special items of between 9 and 10 percent (2017: 8.0 percent) in 2018.

In closing, Klaus Rosenfeld, CEO, said: “We have decided to further accelerate implementation of our ‘Agenda 4 plus One’ with its 20 initiatives in 2018. With this program, we are well equipped to actively shape the challenges of the future. In the interest of our customers and business partners, we want to create value and increase our competitiveness. To do that, we want to and have to become more agile as well as quicker and bolder.”

Our annual report is available at:

http://www.schaeffler-annual-report.com

Forward-looking statements and projections

Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. These risks, uncertainties and assumptions could adversely affect the outcome and financial consequences of the plans and events described herein. No one undertakes any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. You should not place any undue reliance on forward-looking statements which speak only as of the date of this press release. Statements contained in this press release regarding past trends or events should not be taken as representation that such trends or events will continue in the future. The cautionary statements set out above should be considered in connection with any subsequent written or oral forward-looking statements that Schaeffler, or persons acting on its behalf, may issue.

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ISRA announces stock split and higher dividend – Further acquisitions targeted

ISRA VISION AG (ISIN: DE 0005488100), one of the world’s top companies for industrial image processing (machine vision) and a global leader in surface inspection of web materials and 3D machine vision applications, has announced that the Executive Board and the Supervisory Board will be proposing a stock split at the Annual General Meeting on March 28, 2018. Following an capital increase from company funds, each shareholder will receive four more ISRA shares at no charge. For every share held before the split, shareholders will thus own five shares after the split. The share price will be divided by five accordingly. Shareholders’ voting rights or the company’s market capitalization or equity will not be affected.

Furthermore, the Executive Board and the Supervisory Board will continue the sustainable dividend policy of past years and will be proposing a dividend of EUR 0.59 per current share at the Annual General Meeting for the 2016 / 2017 financial year. ISRA is therefore increasing its dividend for the eighth time in a row to allow its shareholders to successively participate directly in the company’s operational development.

The integration of Polymetric GmbH, which was acquired in January 2018, is progressing rapidly. In addition to this technologically motivated takeover, as announced in December 2017, the company is continuing its strategy of further growth through acquisitions in addition to organic business expansion. Several acquisition projects are in progress and some are at an advanced stage. The company is assuming one further deal in the current financial year.

After a good start into the new 2017 / 2018 financial year, ISRA is still gearing its strategic and operational planning towards structural expansion in all areas of the company in preparation for the next big step in revenues beyond EUR 200 million. Management is planning low double-digit revenue growth for the 2017 / 2018 financial year, as in the previous year, with margins at least remaining stable. The company will publish a detailed forecast at the end of February 2018.

 

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