NSG Group Reports
OE Auto Glass Demand is on the Rise
The NSG Group recently reported that vehicle manufacturer demand for
auto glass “recovered to more normal levels” during the second quarter
of fiscal year (FY) 2012. On the auto glass replacement side, the company
says it is “performing well, with improved product mix.”
Overall, NSG reports decreased revenue and profits in its auto glass division
from the same quarter of FY 2011, “due largely to the impact of the March
2011 Japan earthquake.”
“The financial impact was less than expected, as many of the customers
were able to recover production levels more quickly than had previously
been anticipated,” writes the company.
Worldwide, the automotive business recorded sales of approximately $1.6
billion USD (128,181 million JY) and an operating profit of $47 million
USD (3,725 million JY).
In North America, the company reports decreased OE revenues and profits
from the previous year, but improved profitability on the replacement
glass side “due to a strong product mix and an improved operational performance.”
Company officials says OE profits also were affected in North America
by “increased input costs.”
In Europe, which represents 48 percent of NSG’s automotive sales, revenues
increased in the OE sector due to improving demand, but profit decreased
due to rising costs, start-up costs on new facilities and demand volatility,
the company reports. Company officials say demand levels have now stabilized
in the European OE market. On the European replacement side, the company
reports that “business [was] robust, as reduced volumes were offset by
an improved product mix.”
Japan makes up 16 percent of the Group’s automotive sales and both revenues
and profits were below last year, “as customers reduced their production
levels during the first quarter in response to component shortages, following
the Japan earthquake.” Demand recovered during the second quarter, but
is still below the levels of the previous year, according to the company.
South America officials report an increase in volume, “although the second
quarter was relatively weak with some customers taking extended closures
to re-balance inventory levels.” NSG officials say profits were similar
to the previous year in South
America, as the higher volume was partially offset by increased input
costs, demand volatility and start-up costs on new investments.
In other news, NSG has instituted the use of a new logo, which company
officials say “will help [its] employees, customers, suppliers and other
stakeholders recognize that [it is] a single and distinctive company,
while at the same time retain[ing] the valuable Pilkington brand name.”
According to a company statement, the new NSG Group brand identity was
created to capitalize on company’s position in the auto glass, building
products, and specialty glass markets. “The NSG Group mark becomes the
single top-level identity for the Group’s operations,” writes the company.
“There are no plans to change the use of ‘Pilkington’ in many of our legal
company names, so we will still be known as Pilkington North America,
but when speak of ‘our group’ or ‘our company,’ we mean NSG. As such,
we will begin transitioning to our new identity with more evidence of
the NSG Group logo on our premises, marketing material, stationery, etc.”
Company officials say the term “Pilkington” will now be a “product brand
Additionally, NSG Group also has announced plans to build a new float
glass line in Argentina with Saint-Gobain to serve both the auto and construction
markets. The companies expect the line to produce 800 tons of glass daily.
The new line is due to come on stream in the first quarter of 2014.
Belron Reports 4 Percent Year-to-Date Drop in Jobs from 2010 to 2011
Belron’s total worldwide repair and replacement jobs was down 4 percent
for 2011, when compared with the same year-to-date period in 2010, according
to a financial report by the company’s Belgium-based parent company, D’Ieteren.
Repair and replacement jobs, totaling 2.9 million, remained flat for the
third quarter when compared with 2010, according to the company.
The company reports that worldwide, sales dropped one percent in the third
quarter when compared with the same period in 2010—comprised
of 1.3 percent organic growth for the period and 0.8 percent acquired
growth, but offset by a 3.1 percent adverse currency translation effect.
Belron experienced a 1.5 percent drop in year-to-date sales, consisting
of a 0.7 percent organic decrease, 0.7 percent acquired growth and 1.5
percent “adverse currency translation.”
In Europe, company officials say third-quarter sales were 3.6 percent
lower than in 2010, consisting of a 3.5 percent organic decrease, 0.9
percent acquired growth, and a 1 percent adverse translation impact.
“The organic sales decrease was due to market declines in the majority
of countries, primarily as a result of the challenging economic environment,”
writes D’Ieteren. “The acquired growth is predominantly in Russia following
the acquisitions in late 2010 and early 2011.”
Outside Europe, the company saw third-quarter sales growth of 2 percent,
consisting of 7 percent organic growth and 0.6 acquired growth, partially
offset by a 5.6 percent unfavorable translation effect. Belron attributes
the organic growth to “the benefit of investments in both marketing activities
and key account relationships which have enabled the business to grow
despite challenging marketing conditions.” The company reports the “acquisition
of a number of franchisee businesses” in Canada as part of this growth.
Belron predicts moderate organic sales growth for the rest of the year,
“as share gains are expected to offset continued market declines.” The
company’s net unusual costs for the year are expected to reach approximately
$16 million USD (12 million Euros) for the full year, related to the Canadian
acquisitions, along with “the impairment of certain intangible IT assets
following a change in strategy to leverage new technology, partially offset
by a one-off gain relating to a change in the [United Kingdom] government
index for pension revaluations from the retail price index to the consumer
At press time, company officials had not yet responded to requests for
further details on the noted Canadian acquisitions.
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