In 2019 SEAT maintained the positive momentum of the last four years and achieved record financial results that enable to successfully tackle the challenges of 2020. The Spanish company posted a profit after tax of 346 million euros, 17.5% more than in 2018 (294 million). Operating profit rose by 57.5% to 352 million euros (2018: 223), and turnover grew by 11.7 percent for a total of 11.157 billion euros compared with 2018 (9.991), driven by increased sales.
SEAT President and Vice-president for Finance and IT Carsten Isensee emphasised that “2019 was a positive year for SEAT. The figures obtained thanks to the teamwork of the entire organisation put us in an optimal position. Last year’s results provide a solid foundation on which to build the company’s long-term future.”
In 2019, SEAT allocated 1.259 billion euros to accelerate its investment programme, mainly for the development of new models, including electrified vehicles. This is 3% more than in 2018 (1.223) and is the highest amount in the company’s history. Of this volume, 705 million, 6.4% of the total turnover figure, was allocated entirely to R&D, 7.5% more than in 2018 (656). Almost 5% of the total R&D expenditure in Spain in 2019 corresponded to SEAT, the country’s leading industrial investor in R&D.
Furthermore, operating cash flow went up by 56.2% to 1.092 billion euros (2018: 699), 9.8% of turnover. SEAT is one of the 10 best Spanish companies in terms of operating cash flow, which demonstrates its financial sustainability as well as the capacity to self-finance future investments.
Isensee pointed out that “these figures support SEAT’s financial strength. The efforts made by all areas of the company to optimise expenses have enabled us to achieve efficiencies in product costs, promote innovation among our suppliers and control indirect costs. Our main objectives are to increase the profitability of the range, gain efficiency and improve our operating margin.”
Sales, a strong pillar of growth
SEAT deliveries totalled a record high for the second year running, amounting to 574,078 vehicles delivered in 2019, up 10.9% from a year earlier. The positive evolution of this result was based on the commercialisation of vehicles with a higher contribution margin. In 2019, SEAT increased its average revenue per vehicle by 4.2% to 15,050 euros/car (2018: 14,450 euros) thanks to SUVs (44% of the cars sold by SEAT in 2019 were either Arona, Ateca or Tarraco models) and CUPRA. The new brand made a substantial contribution to these results, with sales reaching 24,662 units, 71.8% more than the year before.
In 2019, SEAT’s exports of both vehicles and components reached 81% of turnover (9.014 billion euros), a figure that consolidates it as Spain’s leading industrial exporter, with around 3% of the country’s total exports.
In this context, and as part of its global strategy, the company looks to Latin America with the ambition of growing in this region in the future. Mexico is the leading market in Latin America with 24,314 vehicles sold last year, 5.4% more than in 2018. SEAT started its commercial activity in Chile last year and launched an expansion plan in Colombia. In February 2020, the brand also kicked off a growth strategy in Peru.
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