30% earnings growth on decent revenue and cost control despite soft marginMinth reported 25.5% YoY growth in 1H17 revenue to RMB5.3bn (48% of FY17DBe and 47% of consensus). The company’s domestic revenue expanded 26.1%YoY to RMB3.1bn, driven by strong sales of Japanese and local brand OEMs, andoverseas by 24.5% YoY due to growth in European market.
Gross profit grew 23.2% YoY to RMB1.8bn in 1H17 with 62.1bps YoY declinein gross margin to 33.8% (1H16: 34.4%). Besides pricing pressure from OEMcustomers and rising raw material costs, the margin contraction was mainly dueto the ramp-up of revenue contribution from overseas plants, which fully offsetthe benefit from increasing aluminum products mix.
On the bottom line, the company recorded a 29.6% YoY net profit increase toRMB1.1bn in 1H17, with the net profit margin improving 63.5bps YoY to 20.0%(1H16: 19.4%). With a flattish SG&A and R&D expense ratios, 1H17 net profitwas enhanced by RMB162.7m (+1.5x YoY) other income from employee housingprojects and government subsidy and a lower effective tax rate.
Cash flow from operating activities declined 10.8% YoY to RMB760.7m. Withcapex spending of RMB1.1bn (+87.5% YoY), free cash flow turned negative in1H17 from positive RMB540m in FY16.
Deutsche Bank view – maintaining Buy on potential from aluminum products
1H17 net profit accounted for 51% of both FY17 DBe and consensus, thus weconsider the results in-line with expectation. Aluminum parts have grown to bethe major revenue driver. This division contributed c.20% of FY16 revenue andMinth targets a mid-term revenue contribution of 25-30% which will improveoverall profitability. We expect Minth to deliver a solid 19% EPS CAGR inFY17-19 based on strong growth of aluminum products, an improving productmix and a secure order backlog. Looking ahead, we anticipate new businessinitiatives related to ADAS cameras and new energy vehicles given Minth’s strongintegration capabilities. Key downside risks: 1) weaker auto sales volume; 2)inability to acquire new customers; 3) any market share loss of existing clients;and 4) unexpected increase in raw material prices.
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