Stellantis posts record profits but stays prudent

For the fiscal year 2023, car manufacturer Stellantis Group recorded a net profit of € 18.63 billion (+11%) compared to last year’s € 16.78 billion. Net revenues were € 189.54 billion, up from last year’s € 179.59 billion, with consolidated shipment volumes increasing 7%.

The adjusted operating income increased 1% to € 24.34 billion from € 24.02 billion last year. Meanwhile, the adjusted operating income margin dropped 60 basis points to 12.8%.

With a total volume of 6.4 million vehicles sold, Stellantis is the fourth biggest car manufacturer in the world (in volume), almost on the same level as the Alliance Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi. The top three are Toyota, the VW Group, and the Hyundai Group.

Stellantis is proposing to pay a dividend of € 1.55 per share, an increase of approximately 16% compared to the prior year. The record date is April 23, and the payment date is May 3.

Stellantis will also execute a 2024 open-market share buyback program of € 3 billion, which includes € 0.5 billion of shares repurchased to service share-based compensation and employee share purchase in 2024. All-in-all, this represents € 7.7 billion.

Stellantis will also redistribute € 1.9 billion to its ± 250,000 employees. The premium will oscillate between € 4,100 and € 6,000 according to regional agreements with the concerned workers.

Employees are entitled to benefit from dividends if they subscribed to an actionaries program. In France (± 45,000 employees), 31% had already stepped in. In 2024, the program will be open to all employees worldwide.

Prudence

Looking ahead to fiscal 2024, the carmaker said it was reiterating a minimum commitment of double-digit adjusted operating income margin, as well as positive industrial free cash flow, despite macroeconomic uncertainties.

Building on 2023 momentum, the company projects a supportive revenue backdrop in 2024, including reduced supply and logistical constraints, it said.

Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares reiterates his worries about electrifcation without aid from the authorities. He said that Stellantis was a little bit below average, with a part of 14% electrified cars, but that he wanted to keep its margins. “Those who don’t protect their margins will run into serious problems,” he added.

Actually, the production cost of electric cars is reducing more rapidly than that of ICE cars. “We’re waiting for the margins to reach the same level for electric cars as those for ICE cars. The work isn’t done yet, and that’s why we’re still adept at multi-energy solutions. I see this as a big advantage for Stellantis, Tavares explained.

Appeasement

Carlos Tavares also said on Thursday the Italo-Franco-US carmaker needed all its Italian factors after sparking union alarm earlier this month by saying some plants might be threatened unless the group got major subsidies to make electric cars. Somewhat later, a set of incentives arrived.

“To reach the target of one million vehicles, we need all the Italian plants, so there is definitely a future for Pomigliano and Mirafiori,” said the Portuguese manager. “New models will arrive, but I cannot say which ones yet. The Panda will be replaced”.

On the subsidies, Tavares said: “We are satisfied with the incentives. It is a very good decision, and we thank the government. Consumers will benefit. To reach the goal of producing one million vehicles, we have to work with the Italian government, and that is what we are doing”

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