TRW Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2008 Financial Results - aftermarketNews

TRW Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2008 Financial Results

The company's full-year 2008 sales grew to a record $15 billion, an increase of 2 percent compared with the prior year.

LIVONIA, Mich. — TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. has reported fourth-quarter 2008 financial results with sales of $2.8 billion, a decrease of 27.6 percent compared to the same period a year ago. The company reported a GAAP fourth quarter net loss of $946 million or ($9.35) per diluted share, which compares to net earnings of $56 million or 55 cents per diluted share in the prior year period.

The company’s full-year 2008 sales grew to a record $15 billion, an increase of 2 percent compared with the prior year. For the year, GAAP net losses were $779 million or ($7.71) per diluted share, which compares to 2007 earnings of $90 million or 88 cents per diluted share. Excluding special items, 2008 net earnings were $1.50 per diluted share, down from $2.68 per diluted share a year ago.

"The automotive industry is in the midst of extraordinary challenges resulting from the sudden and steep decline in global automotive production and economic activity,” said John Plant, president and chief executive officer. “TRW’s fourth quarter results reflect those challenges. We are confident the actions we have taken and will continue to take, to align our business with the current industry conditions, will allow us to prevail through these challenging times and prosper when the industry returns to a more stable environment."

As a result of the negative economic and automotive industry conditions, demand for the company’s products has declined substantially resulting in the impairment of certain of the company’s long-lived assets including goodwill, customer relationships and fixed assets totaling $854 million. In addition, the company has incurred restructuring charges relating primarily to employment separations totaling $14 million.

Excluding asset impairments and restructuring charges from both periods, operating income for the fourth quarter of 2008 was a loss of $24 million, which compares to income of $168 million in the prior year period. The year-to-year decrease was driven primarily by the profit impact of lower sales and, to a lesser extent, net currency losses.

The company reported a 2008 fourth-quarter GAAP net loss of $946 million, or ($9.35) per diluted share, which compares to GAAP net earnings of $56 million, or 55 cents per diluted share in the 2007 period.

Earnings before interest, securitization costs, taxes, depreciation and amortization and special items ("adjusted EBITDA") were $101 million in the fourth quarter of 2008, as compared to the prior year level of $319 million.

The company reported 2008 sales of $15 billion, an increase of $293 million or 2 percent compared to prior year sales. The increase in sales resulted primarily from the positive effect of foreign currency translation during the first nine months of the year and above trend sales of lower margin modules.

For full-year 2008, the company incurred goodwill, customer relationship and fixed asset impairments as well as restructuring charges totaling $932 million compared to restructuring charges and asset impairments of $51 million for 2007.

Excluding these restructuring charges and asset impairments from both periods, operating income in 2008 was $464 million, which is a decrease of $211 million or 31 percent compared to the prior year result of $675 million. Positive factors such as savings generated from cost improvement and efficiency programs, including reductions in pension and OPEB related costs, were more than offset by the profit impact resulting from lower core sales, a negative mix of products sold, higher commodity prices, price reductions provided to customers and foreign currency losses.

Net interest and securitization expense for 2008 totaled $184 million, which represents a significant improvement from the prior year result of $233 million. The decline in interest expense resulted primarily from the company’s debt recapitalization completed in the first half of 2007 and lower interest rates between the periods. The debt recapitalization completed last year resulted in $155 million of costs in 2007.

The company reported a 2008 full-year GAAP net loss of $779 million, or ($7.71) per diluted share, which compares to GAAP net earnings of $90 million, or 88 cents per diluted share in 2007.

Excluding special items, the company reported full-year 2008 net earnings of $153 million, or $1.50 per diluted share, which compares to $276 million or $2.68 per diluted share in 2007.

Adjusted EBITDA totaled $1,039 million, compared to $1,241 million in the prior year. See page A6 for a description of the special items excluded in calculating adjusted EBITDA.

Fourth quarter 2008 net cash flow from operating activities was $769 million, which compares to $826 million in the prior year. Fourth quarter 2008 capital expenditures were $144 million compared to $174 million in 2007. Free cash flow (cash flow from operating activities less capital expenditures) was $625 million compared to $652 million in the prior year quarter.

For full-year 2008, net cash flow from operating activities was $773 million, which compares to $737 million in the prior year. Capital expenditures were $482 million in 2008 compared to $513 million in 2007. Free cash flow (cash flow from operating activities less capital expenditures) was $291 million compared to $224 million in 2007.

As of Dec. 31, 2008, the company had $2,922 million of debt and $766 million of cash and marketable securities, resulting in net debt (defined as debt less cash and marketable securities) of $2,156 million. This compares favorably to net debt of $2,345 million at the end of 2007.

At the end of 2008, committed liquidity facilities and cash on hand provided the company with available liquidity in excess of $1.5 billion. On Feb. 13, the company drew down additional funds under its $1.4 billion revolving credit facility (bringing the total outstanding to $1.1 billion) in order to bolster its liquidity position due to concerns about ongoing disruptions in the financial markets and uncertainty in the automotive industry and global economy.

TRW’s 2009 planning assumptions for industry production volumes are approximately 9.3 million in North America and 16.5 million for Europe, down 27 percent and 20 percent, respectively, compared to 2008 levels. Based on these production levels and the company’s current expectations for foreign currency exchange rates, full-year sales are expected to range between $10.9 billion and $11.3 billion, with first-quarter sales expected to be approximately $2.4 billion.

"We anticipate 2009 will be another challenging year for the automotive industry, especially in our major markets of North America and Europe where customer production volumes are anticipated to be down significantly," said Plant. "TRW’s capital structure and strong liquidity, combined with management’s decisive actions to mitigate the effects of the downturn, will help TRW to remain a leading supplier to the world’s car manufacturers."

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