Aerospace and defence revenues improved in 2012 by 17.5% due to a combination of new contract gains, market share improvement and market demand. By comparison, revenues from automotive fell, primarily due to reduced demand in all geographies except North America. According to Bodycote, sales to the car and light truck sector declined by 7.1%, with heavy truck sales off by 15.1%.

In North America automotive revenues improved and for the year as a whole were ahead of 2011 by 25.9%. Car and light truck related sales increased by 23.1% and heavy truck increased by 40.1%. General industrial sales also advanced well and revenues were ahead 25.0% compared to 2011. However, in Western Europe sales were significantly impacted both by reduced demand and currency translation effects due to the weakness of the Euro versus Sterling. Automotive revenues were down 14.5% in 2012. Car and light truck fared better (down 11.8%) than heavy truck, which was lower by 22.6%. General industrial sales were much less affected but were, nevertheless, down compared to 2011 by 6.3%.

The group’s business in emerging markets had a disappointing year, with sales lower year on year by 13.1%. In Eastern Europe, weak demand from Germany and France saw customers reducing their output in Poland and the Czech Republic rather than cutback in their home countries. Asia, notably China, witnessed a short-lived slowdown in manufacturing activity. Meanwhile, Bodycote’s business in Brazil was impacted by a significant reduction in industrial activity in 2012.

“2012 has been another year of good progress,” said Stephen Harris, Bodycote CEO. “Growth in our global aerospace and energy business outweighed the decline in automotive and general industrial markets in Europe. Improving business mix and the part-year benefit of acquisitions have enabled further improvements in performance and enhanced the Group’s geographic balance. […] Looking further ahead, the improvements made to the business in recent years give the Board confidence that Bodycote will continue to deliver good profits and cash through the business cycle.”

The full results can be found here (pdf).

Want more? Click here to subscribe to our weekly enewsletter. All the PM news you need in one place!