Stellantis NV is planning to distribute $4.47 billion in dividends to shareholders and buy back up to $1.60 billion worth of shares after revenue and net profit surged in 2022, a year marked by a steep rise in electric-vehicle sales.
Stellantis and other car makers have had to contend with supply chain snags caused by the war in Ukraine and a surge in Covid-19 infections in China, a key car market.
The maker of the Jeep and Dodge brands on Wednesday posted revenue of 179.59 billion euros, equivalent to $191.20 billion, up 18% on the year. Stellantis sold 288,000 electric vehicles globally last year, a 41% increase from 2021.
The automaker, formed by the combination of Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot maker PSA Group, is aiming to more than double its EV portfolio to 47 models by the end of 2024 and reach a global sales target of 5 million units by the end of the decade.
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“We are talking about it. We are doing it,” Stellantis Chief Executive Carlos Tavares said Wednesday about the company’s EV plans, during a call with reporters.
Global electric-vehicle sales achieved around 10% market share industrywide for the first time last year, driven mainly by strong growth in China and Europe. Mr. Tavares is aiming by 2030 to have 100% of Stellantis’s European sales and 50% of its U.S. sales be fully electric cars, but he has raised concerns about how fast consumers will take to EVs.
Auto makers have struggled to find key components such as computer chips to keep production in pace with demand because of supply-chain disruption, though Mr. Tavares said he expects the situation to improve in 2023.
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Stellantis said it would pay an average $14,760 profit-sharing check to hourly employees represented by the United Auto Workers union. Approximately 40,500 employees are eligible to receive the payment, Stellantis said. The company is scheduled in 2023 to negotiate a new four-year labor contract with the UAW.
Stellantis’s Chief Financial Officer Richard Palmer said in a call with reporters that overall shipments for the year were down 2% to 5.8 million units due to challenges with semiconductors, particularly in Europe in the first half, but also in North America in the second half.
Inflation-related costs had an impact of more than €9 billion on annual results, Mr. Palmer said. Raw materials added up to roughly €6.5 billion, while energy and costs for components were about €3 billion, he said.
“I think we got ahead of inflation but it was clearly an important factor in 2022. In 2023, we think raw-material inflation is going to be lower. We’re seeing some commodities backing off, particularly steel,” Mr. Palmer said.
Net profit from continuing operations jumped 26% to €16.78 billion. Adjusted operating income—Stellantis’s preferred measure of profitability—climbed to €23.32 billion from €18.01 billion, generating an adjusted margin of 13%. Industrial free cash flows—another closely watched metric that shows how much cash comes into or goes out of a business—increased to €10.82 billion from €6.07 billion.
Analysts polled by FactSet had forecast revenue of €176.19 billion, net profit from continuing operations of €16.23 billion and adjusted operating income of €22.76 billion.
The company had guided for a double-digit adjusted operating income margin and positive industrial free cash flows.
Stellantis said its 2022 dividend distribution, more than roughly €3.3 billion it handed over for the previous year, is subject to shareholder approval. The company also said it would execute its share buyback by the end of the year.
For 2023, Stellantis is targeting a double-digit adjusted operating income margin and positive industrial free cash flows. The company expects industry sales to rise by 5% this year in both North America and Europe.
Mr. Palmer said that while inflation will continue to be a challenge, the hit will be a “significantly lower number in 2023 because of the lower effect of raw materials and particularly steel and base metals.”
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