In the 2017 financial year, POLYTEC GROUP again achieved the best operating result in its more than 30-year history and raised its EBITDA by EUR 2.2 million to EUR 82.3 million and was thus slightly higher than in the preceding year (2016: EUR 80.1 million). As neither the material and personnel ratios, nor the other items in the income statement demonstrated major changes, the EBITDA margin remained at the excellent level of 2016 at 12.2%. POLYTEC GROUP EBIT improved by 5.1% in 2017 and rose to EUR 55.1 million. As compared to the preceding year, the EBIT margin remained unchanged at 8.1%. EBITDA and EBIT were burdened to an amount of EUR 4.9 million owing to a provision for future restructuring measures in connection with plant closures.
Owing to an refined financial structure, the financial result improved to minus EUR 3.0 million (2016: minus EUR 4.3 million). Group net profit improved by 5.4% over 2016 to stand at EUR 38.2 million (2016: EUR 36.3 million). This corresponds with earnings per share of EUR 1.74 (2016: EUR 1.65). The Board of Directors and the Supervisory Board will propose the distribution of a dividend of EUR 0.45 (2016: EUR 0,40) per eligible share to the 18th Annual General Meeting to be held on 16 May 2018.
In the 2017 financial year, POLYTEC GROUP sales increased by 4.0% over the preceding year to stand at EUR 676.4 million (2016: 650.4 million). As compared to 2016, sales revenues in the passenger car market area, which with 64.2% forms the strongest sales area within the POLYTEC GROUP, rose slightly by 2.0% to EUR 434.1 million (2016: EUR 425.4 million). Sales in the commercial vehicle market area (24.4%) rose markedly as opposed to those of 2016, increasing by 12.0% to EUR 165.0 million. All the commercial vehicle customers demonstrated growth. The non-automotive market area contributed 11.4% to POLYTEC consolidated sales and virtually maintained the 11.9% level of the preceding year.
In 2017, group's balance sheet total increased by EUR 15.1 million to EUR 516.5 million. The equity ratio as at 31 December 2017 was 4.2 percentage points up on that on the balance sheet closing date of the preceding year at 42.1%. In spite of reduced financial liabilities, as opposed to the 31 December 2016 balance sheet date, net debt went up by EUR 8.8 million to EUR 78.7 million. This increase can be traced to a reduction in cash and cash equivalents. On the balance sheet date, cash and cash equivalents totalled a final amount of EUR 56.9 million.
Based on economic stability, the POLYTEC GROUP executive management assumes that in 2018 group sales and operating results will again attain the excellent level of last year. Against the background of the latest decision of the Federal Administrative Court in Germany regarding possible driving bans on older diesel models, as well as the intervening, noticeable decline in call-ups for diesel vehicle products, this constitutes an ambitious target.
The annual financial report of POLYTEC Holding AG as of 31 December 2017 is available on the company's website section Investor Relations, Publications, Financial Reports.