Lear Corp., a large automotive supplier in Southfield, today reported 2017 revenue of $20.5 billion, up 10 percent from 2016, along with $1.3 billion in net income, up from $975 million the prior year.
During the fourth quarter, the company posted revenue of $5.4 billion, up 16 percent from the same period in 2016. During the same time frame, net income was $401 million, compared to $270 million.
“In 2017, we continued to deliver superior results, as the investments that we have made in our business are paying off,” says Matt Simoncini, president and CEO of Lear who will be retiring next month. “We achieved record performance in all key financial metrics, and we further strengthened our product capabilities in both business segments. Today, we are in the strongest overall competitive position in our history.
“Our total return to shareholders last year was 35 percent. Over the last five years, we have delivered a total return to our shareholders of approximately 300 percent, almost three times the return of the S&P 500. Going forward, our unique product capabilities and industry-leading cost structure will allow Lear to continue to deliver profitable sales growth and superior value to our customers and shareholders."
For 2018, the company’s said its financial outlook is based on a global industry production assumption of 95.1 million vehicles, up 2 percent from 2017. On a regional basis, vehicle production is forecasted to be 17.4 million units in North America, up 2 percent, 23.4 million units in Europe and Africa, up 2 percent, and 26.5 million units in China, up 1 percent.
Sales in 2018 are expected to be in the range of $21.4 billion to $21.6 billion, and core operating earnings are expected to be around $1.8 billion. Net cash provided by operating activities is estimated to be $1.8 billion, and free cash flow is expected to be more than $1.2 billion.
During 2017, the company completed the acquisition and integration of Grupo Antolin's seating business, further strengthening Lear’s market share with key European customers and expanding our seat component capabilities.
In E-Systems, Lear announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire EXO Technologies, a leading developer of differentiated GPS technology providing high-accuracy positioning solutions without the need for terrestrial base-station networks to support autonomous and connected vehicle applications. The acquisition of EXO Technologies closed in the coming weeks.