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Mann+Hummel reports strong euro dampens sales growth

Mann+Hummel Group, the German filtration solutions business, 'developed positively' against the backdrop of fluctuating economic conditions in 2013, the company reported at its financial press conference.

It announced sales of €2.68bn (+2.3%) for 2013 and a Group result (EBIT) of €151bn (+3.6%) were recorded in the year under review. The board put the flat sales growth curve down to the strength of the euro. The single currency gained significant value against the Brazilian Real as well as against the US dollar last year. Gains in market share and positive market trends in the local currencies were therefore frequently neutralised in the consolidated balance sheet in euros. Adjusted for exchange rate effects, sales growth amounted to five percent, exceeding the previous year's reference value (3.6%).

Determining factors in the sales of €2.68bn were principally sales increases in North America and Asia, both in the automotive original equipment segment and in the aftermarket business. The Industrial Filtration business unit remained at the previous year's level as a result of stagnating demand for capital goods. Alfred Weber, president and CEO, was satisfied with the results: "We achieved good figures in terms of sales and earnings in 2013. The market environment remains volatile and we go into 2014 with cautious optimism." Frank Jehle, Deputy CEO & CFO: "We have again increased our investments in tangible assets and Research & Development. This ensures the conditions for continuing sustained growth."  The group spent €98mn on Research & Development in 2013, an area in which it employs nearly 1,000 highly qualified staff. . In response to the above-average growth in Asia, a new plant was opened in Changchun (China). Moreover, production capacity was significantly expanded at the US locations of Portage (Michigan) and Dunlap (Tennessee). In Europe, Mann+Hummel also invested in numerous existing plants as well as opening a new Logistics and Testing Centre in Okrisky (Czech Republic). Although Mr Jehle anticipates further economic recovery in 2014, he still remains cautious: "The financial markets have not yet achieved a sustainably sound situation. In 2014, we will continue to focus on the high flexibility of Mann+Hummel in particular. In the process, we will continue to invest in growth and the expansion of our market position."  

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