Auto parts maker Martinrea International reports steep loss in Q4 earnings

TORONTO – Auto parts company Martinrea International Inc. (TSX:MRE) has reported a big earnings drop in its latest quarter compared to a year earlier, which the company blamed on restructuring and other operational costs at several of its plants.

The Toronto-based company said it lost $6.6 million, or eight cents per diluted share, for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2012, compared with a profit of $18.5 million, or 22 cents per diluted share, a year earlier.

It says one-time costs earlier in the year still left an impact on the company’s bottom line in the fourth quarter.

Some of these costs included restructuring fees and other launch-related operational expenses at its facilities in Shelbyville and Hopkinsville, Ky. It said it also increased assembly work at these plants, which result in lower margins.

The company said a decrease in production volumes for light to medium-heavy vehicles, particularly in western Europe and Brazil, cut down its profits.

“In terms of our final quarter in 2012, our fourth quarter results reflected strong Q4 revenues, adjusted net earnings, and extensive launch and pre-launch activity as we continued to ramp up the largest backlog in our history,” said chief executive and president, Nick Orlando, in a statement.

“The company’s operations are running well in many plants and meeting or exceeding expectations. However, launch costs and other operational costs in several plants negatively impacted results in the quarter. In terms of an operational update as to where we sit today on our operations in March 2013, we are progressing on all fronts.”

Martinrea posted revenues of $705.6 million, a modest drop from $714.8 million during the same quarter a year earlier.

In 2011, the company acquired Honsel AG, a German supplier of aluminum components for the automotive and industrial sectors, last year in a deal valued at $179 million.

Shares in Martinrea, which reported its results after markets closed, were up eight cents at $8.50 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

Martinrea produces metal parts, assemblies and modules and fluid systems for automakers and employees 12,000 workers in 37 plants in Canada, U.S., Mexico, Brazil, Europe and China.