Infineon optimistic despite economic headwind in the automotive industry

November 13, 2019 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Infineon optimistic despite economic headwind in the automotive industry
The chip manufacturer Infineon achieved its targets in the 2019 financial year just ended. CEO Reinhard Ploss remains optimistic for the near future. In the coming financial year, the company intends to increase its sales again by about 5%.

For the entire fiscal year, Infineon achieved sales of 8.029 billion euros, an increase of 6% over the previous year. Given the weakness of the automotive market, which accounts for approximately half of Infineon's revenues, Infineon CEO Reinhard Ploss said the year was challenging. Demand focused on power semiconductors and sensors for consumer devices. "We are clearly feeling the effects of weak global demand for automobiles and do not expect any improvement for the time being," said Ploss. A recovery will not occur until the second half of the next fiscal year, he said.

In the past fiscal year, Infineon's sales and operating profit were slightly better than planned. The return on sales (segment result margin) was 16.4 %. Infineon had recently set itself a sales target of 8 billion euros and a margin of 16 %.

For the upcoming first quarter of fiscal year 2020, the company initially expects a slight decline in revenues, as the first quarter is traditionally somewhat weak at Infineon. However, in the medium term (and beyond the coming fiscal year), Infineon should benefit disproportionately from the switchover in mobility towards electric vehicles. In a recent interview with eennews Europe, the Senior Vice President of Infineon's Automotive Division, Hans Adlkofer, detailed the impact of the switchover to electric vehicles on the demand for semiconductors in cars. According to Adlkofer’s calculation, a conventional car currently contains an average of $417 chips, while a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) contains $780 worth of semiconductors.

A risk factor for Infineon could be the planned takeover of competitor Cypress Semiconductor. For this acquisition, the chip manufacturer from Munich has carried out an extra capital increase of 10 %. This takeover is not yet home and dry - or at least not yet completely, because the responsible US authorities have not yet given the green light. However, the European antitrust authorities have already given their approval.

In any case, the risk is

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