Plastic Omnium SA will be launching four plants in Asia and North America in 2018, the French automotive supplier has announced.
In its first half financial report, the Île-de-France-based group said one plant will be opened in China, one in India and two in the United States, including the Greer pilot plant in South Carolina for the group's Industry 4.0 program.
According to Laurent Burelle, chairman and CEO of Cie. Plastic Omnium, company's industrial investments in the six months to June 30 rose 19 percent to 207 million euros, compared to the same period in 2016.
In the US, said Burelle, Plastic Omnium has commissioned its “largest plant - a pilot facility for the future plant 4.0.”
“This investment places us at the leading edge of new methods of production combining robotics, algorithms and artificial intelligence, which will subsequently be rolled out at all the group's plants and significantly improve our industrial efficiency,” he said.
Additionally, he noted, Plastic Omnium has co-invested in the new fund of the venture capital company Aster Capital which is dedicated to start-ups working on sustainable mobility.
In the first six months of the year, group consolidated revenue rose 27.8 percent to over 4 billion euros compared to the same period last year, 12.3 percent up at constant scope and exchange rates.
Earnings for the period grew 22 percent to 469 million euros, reflecting what Burelle described as “non-stop improvement in industrial performance” and high utility rates at plants.
Plastic Omnium's automotive sales were 3.89 billion euros, up 30.1 percent in the first half, including 492 million euros from Faurecia's exterior body parts business acquired in 2016. Sales rose by 12.6 percent at constant scope and exchange rates.
Growth in automotive production was 2.8 percent over the same period.
The French automotive supplier has attributed its strong results to market share gains in North America and China, which were supported by “a major investment program and a strong position in the SUV segment.”
The group expects sales to surpass 10 billion euros by 2021.