Overall growth for Saft, though ESS sales fall

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Saft announced an increase of 12.4% in sales during the first half of the year (H1), driven by sales amounting to €370.8 million ($410.6 million). Compared to the first half of 2014, the EBITDA during H1 2015 was $63.7 million, an increase of 17.1% compared to H1 2014. An increase of $10.3 million was also seen in the net income for H1 2015 compared to H1 2014.

Ghislain Lescuyer, chairman of the management board, stated that he is satisfied with the sales performances despite challenging comparables in several market segments. By this he meant the lower sales of lithium-ion batteries for both the telecom and ESS (energy storage systems) segments.

Despite having a sales growth of 6.3% at constant exchange rates during the first quarter of this year, the industrial battery group (IBG), saw sales falling 12.2% in the second quarter of 2015 compared to the same quarter last year. This sales reduction in this segment was mainly due to a 14% fall in battery sales for stationary back-up power and ESS applications. The battery sales for ESS in the first half of 2015 fell stronger than anticipated at the beginning of the year.

The company saw good performances in the transportation markets and specialty battery group (SBG). The SBG group comprises of sales to the civil electronics market and space and defence.

Outlook 2015

Given the performance in H1 2015, the company has confirmed annual guidance of sales growth of over 5% at constant exchange rates and an EBITDA margin of at least 15.8% They expect IBG revenue to return to growth during the second half of this year with strong sales in the stationary battery segment. Saft expects its Evolion lithium-ion batteries to drive the sales.