In the 2022 financial year, ZF achieved group sales of €43.8 billion against €38.3 billion in CY21, an increase of 14% compared to the previous year. Organic growth was 9.3%, with the remaining difference primarily due to currency effects.
The company's adjusted EBIT was €2,038 (€1,910) million, which corresponds to an adjusted EBIT margin of 4.7% (5%). Free cash flow adjusted for M&A activities was €544 million against €991 million in CY21. At the end of last year, net debt amounted to €10.4 billion (€10.1 billion); the equity ratio rose from 18.6% at the end of 2021 to 22.1%.
Michael Frick, CFO, ZF, said, “In terms of sales growth, we developed better than the global vehicle markets. However, better profitability and higher cash flow are important prerequisites to remain strong in research and development and reducing our financial debt. We are working intensively on both topics.”
Some areas will be opened up to potential partners and investors. Others should be able to act more efficiently and closely with the customer through mergers. These steps aim to align the company more clearly with future fields and make it more profitable.
Based on the “Next Generation Mobility” strategy, ZF is further developing its corporate structures to better adapt them to the requirements of customers and the market. Therefore, ZF is planning, among other things, to unite the two divisions for Car Chassis Technology and Active Safety Systems into a new division for chassis, steering and brake technology that is unique in the market.
“The new division offers all the hardware, software and electronics needed to control the vertical, longitudinal and lateral dynamics of a vehicle. With a turnover of more than €14 billion, it should be a strong partner for our customers from the start,” explained Dr Holger Klein, CEO, ZF.
The company is also looking for external investors for its Passive Safety Systems Division, the conventional car axle business and the business with autonomous shuttles as the areas of aftermarket and electric drives, among others, have developed successfully.
Klein added, “Our most important task is to focus ourselves and to push change and gain speed. We have launched a comprehensive performance programme to accelerate processes, simplify decision making and maintain cost discipline.”