Gestamp records Q3 net profit of EUR28.4m

Gestamp has posted third-quarter net profit of EUR28.4m (US$33m), similar to Q3, 2019 despite higher FX impact and higher outflow of minority interests due to a better performance in those perimeters.

Revenue during Q3, 2020 reached EUR2.04bn, up 5.3%.

Strict cost control and execution of the Transformation Plan announced in July despite sales stabilisation, led to profitability increase. Efforts have been focused on consolidating reductions in labour and operating expenses across the group, as well as specific actions in line with objectives and timings of the plan.

Results for the first nine months have been hampered by Q2, 2020 and the impact of COVID-19. Performance during 9M,2020 has improved versus H1,2020 as a result of Gestamp's Q3, 2020 results.
“Gestamp's results in Q3 have been solid with an increase in EBITDA and strong FCF generation despite continued challenging market conditions,” said Gestamp executive chairman, Francisco Riberas.

“The Group has managed to increase its profitability to levels above 2019 and reduced its net debt significantly to levels close to Q4, 2019.

“We will continue focused on executing our Transformation Plan to help drive future profitability. We will preserve and enhance our long-term strategy with our customers taking advantage of our technological positioning for EVs.”

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Freyr and Elkem ink Annode Active Materials MoU

Freyr and Elkem have signed an MoU for commercial supply of Anode Active Materials (AAM) to Freyr's lithium-ion battery cell (LiB) facility being developed in Mo i Rana, Norway.

Elkem and Freyr will work to establish long-term AAM supply agreements, including battery graphite and high-content silicon battery materials, for Freyr's initial pilot production line, the 2-25 GWh fast-track facilities and the subsequent 2-phase 32 GWh giga-factory.

The agreement also includes joint development and industrial scale testing of new high-performance AAM and new technologies to provide battery cells with higher energy density and improved safety at lower cost.

Elkem is a global supplier of advanced materials, currently constructing a pilot plant for battery graphite in Kristiansand, Norway, with significant related R&D activity and developing a potential large-scale plant for battery materials production at Herøya, Norway, known as Northern Recharge.

The agreement is in line with Freyr's ambition of partnering with local suppliers to produce environmentally friendly battery cells with a significantly reduced carbon footprint using locally sourced materials and 100% renewable low-cost energy.

“We are very pleased to include Elkem in our rapidly expanding eco-system of suppliers and customers,” said Freyr CEO, Tom Einar Jensen.

“Long-term supply of high-performance, competitive AAM to our battery cell production facilities in Northern Norway is a core catalyst to competitive battery cell production.

“By combining secure, stable long-term supply of high performance AAM, manufacturing technology and 100% renewable energy, we are continuing to enable Freyr to deliver the most efficient, cost effective and environmentally friendly battery cells to all market segments.

“Elkem can be a strong supply partner for Freyr with Norwegian production of anode materials. This initial agreement enables us to secure local supply of materials with longer term ambitions of f..

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Fastned opens first Belgium charging station

Fastned has opened its first fast charging station in Belgium, making the company operational in four countries.

The new station is located close to Ostend-Bruges airport.

EV drivers can add up to 300km range in 15 minutes, with electricity from the sun and wind.

“We want to give electric vehicles more freedom to drive electric and travel greater distances, which is why there is a need for a nationwide network of charging infrastructure and fast charging points like this one here at Ostend Airport,” said Flemish Minister of Mobility, Lydia Peeters.

“It can be an incentive for private individuals and companies to opt for zero-emission vehicles. In the future more of Fastned's fast charging stations will appear on Flemish roads. At the beginning of this year, through the Agency for Roads and Traffic, I granted the permit to Fastned for the construction of 13 fast charging stations along Flemish motorways. This is how we are taking clear actions on greening mobility.”

For his part, Fastned CEO, Michael Langezaal, added: “The opening of the first Fastned station in Belgium is a great step in the expansion of our European fast charging network. Belgium is the fourth country where Fastned is now operational.

“With the growing European network, we make it easier for people to switch to an electric vehicle. Ostend-Bruges Airport is a location with a lot of traffic, where drivers can now fast charge their electric car.

“In the coming years we will realise many more stations in Belgium in cities and along motorways.”

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China boost returns VW to profitability in Q3

VW Group has reported operating profit (before special items) at EUR3.2bn for the third quarter (compares with a loss of EUR1.7bn in Q2 and EUR4.8bn profit in Q3 2019), helped by a rapid recovery in sales in the recovering Chinese market.

Group sales revenue in the quarter ended September 30 amounted to EUR59.4bn (EUR61.4bn Q3 2019), down only 3.4% on last year.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Volkswagen Group's deliveries dropped by 18.7% year-on-year to 6.5m (8.0m) vehicles in the first nine months. However, in an overall market that contracted at a faster rate, the VW Group says it was able to expand its global passenger car market share by 0.4 percentage points year-on-year to 13.0 percent.

The market recovery following sharp decreases earlier in the year, especially at the beginning of the second quarter, continued in the third quarter, as expected, VW said. A key driver of this development was China, the VW Group's largest single market, where deliveries between July and September were 3% up on the prior-year period. Globally, the number of vehicles delivered to customers in the third quarter was approximately the same as in the same quarter of 2019 (–1.1%).

In September, the VW Group's global deliveries exceeded the level of the same month in 2019 for the first time this year (+3.3%).

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Visteon Q3 net sales up 3% to US$747m

Visteon has recorded third-quarter net sales of US$747m, representing a year-over-year increase of 3% excluding the impact of currency.

Gross margin in the third quarter was US$99m and net income attributable to Visteon was US$6m.

Adjusted net income was US$38m, which excludes restructuring charges. Adjusted EBITDA was US$87m for the third quarter of 2020 or 11.6% of sales.

During the third quarter, the company was awarded US$1.5bn in new business, for a total of US$3.2bn for the first nine months. Visteon launched a record 23 new products in the third quarter, totalling 44 for the year to date.

“The proactive measures we took earlier in the year to control costs also helped Visteon achieve record profitability for a third quarter,” said Visteon president and CEO, Sachin Lawande.

“We launched a record 23 new products in Q3, including products on flagship vehicles such as the new Ford F-150 and the Mercedes Benz S-Class. The combined projected lifetime revenue of these 23 launches is more than US$2.5bn and will help Visteon continue our market out-performance in the coming quarters.”

The company advanced its growth strategy in the third quarter by launching a 12.4-inch digital cluster, telematics control unit and scalable audio solution for the 2021 Ford F-150, as well as a digital instrument cluster for Daimler's S-Class sedan.

The rest of the year remains strong says Visteon, with multiple programmes scheduled for launch during the fourth quarter.

New business wins included a 12-inch display for a Japanese OEM, the success of Visteon's Android-based VW Play infotainment system, which helped the company secure a similar Android infotainment award with a US-based OEM and an extension of its previously awarded battery management system.

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