Aluminum-wheel supplier Superior Industries International reported first-quarter net sales of $357.7 million, down from $386.4 million in first-quarter 2018.
“During the first quarter of 2019, we faced lower shipment volumes compared to last year, primarily in our North American operations, which was driven by reduced take rates on several platforms that we supply as well as softer industry production levels at our key customers,” said Timothy McQuay, executive chairman of Superior. “Our European business also continued to be impacted by softer industry production volumes within our customer base. Despite these headwinds in volume, we continued to capture the benefits from favorable product mix, including a secular shift to larger and more premium wheels during the quarter, with value-added sales per wheel increasing 80 cents compared to the same period last year.
“While we anticipate the lower volumes in North America to persist throughout 2019, our focus remains on operational improvements and best-in-class execution in order to continue capitalizing on the secular trends. Also, during the quarter, our efforts and focus on cash-flow generation yielded positive results with the net change in cash up $29.2 million year-over-year.”
Another highlight, McQuay said, was the appointment of Majdi Abulaban as president and CEO in April.
“Majdi brings to Superior a long track record of operational excellence and leadership within the automotive industry,” McQuay added. “We are looking forward to him joining the team next week.”
The company shipped 5 million wheel units in the first quarter, down from 5.5 million units in first-quarter 2018.
Gross profit for the first quarter was $33.1 million, down from $50 million in first-quarter 2018.
“The decrease was primarily due to lower shipments and production, higher energy costs and the alignment of reporting for selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses between our North American and European operations, which resulted in higher cost of goods sold and lower SG&A expenses by approximately $4 million,” the company said in a news release.
Income from operations was $18.6 million, compared to $27.6 million in Q1 2018.
Superior reported net income of $2 million and a loss per diluted share of 24 cents, including acquisition-related and other expenses of 2 cents per diluted share. This compares to net income of $10.3 million, or 7 cents per diluted share, in Q1 2018.