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SGL's Jürgen Köhler resigns in wake of July underperformance

SGL says counter-measures will be required and restructuring is being considered, and it plans to publish new guidance after completing the new Group plan.
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Carbon fiber manufacturer and composites fabricator SGL Carbon (Wiesbaden, Germany) reported on Aug. 14 that CEO Jürgen Köhler is resigning effective Aug. 31 following significant underperformance of the company in July 2019. 

In a statement, SGL stated, “The actual results of July 2019 of the business unit Composites – Fibers & Materials (CFM) of SGL Carbon show a significant deviation from our expectations. Analyses of the actual results and the plan were conducted to clarify whether this deviation has an impact on the guidance for the business unit and the Group. As a result, we today correct our 2019 guidance for the business unit CFM and the Group.” 

SGL Carbon now expects business unit CFM, for fiscal year 2019, to post a recurring EBIT in the mid-single digit million € range; previous guidance estimated a recurring EBIT close to the prior year level of approximately €21 million. 

The company points to two factors as the cause of the EBIT decline: 

  • Discovery of erroneous planning assumptions in a high-volume contract for the wind energy segment. 
  • Failure of anticipated recovery in the industrial market segment, as well as underperformance of planned earnings improvement measures. 

Further, SGL now expects a recurring Group EBIT approximately €10 million below the prior year level (previous guidance, approximately €65 million). Accordingly, consolidated net results are expected to reach a high single-digit million loss (previous guidance, break-even consolidated net result).

SGL says counter-measures will be required and restructuring is being considered. The company says it plans to publish new guidance after completing the new Group plan in January 2020, if not before.

As a consequence of these developments, CEO Köhler informed the supervisory board that he is resigning at the end of the month.

Click here for full SGL Carbon statement.

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