LONDON -- GKN (LSE: GKN ) , the car and plane parts maker with clients ranging from Volkswagen and General Motors to Boeing and Airbus, saw sales increase by 13% to £6.9 billion and operating profits rise 19% to £557 million in its annual results to December 31, 2012. The better-than-expected profits represented records in all four divisions (driveline, powder metallurgy, aerospace, and land systems) and produced an earnings per share increase of 17% to 26.5 pence. The total dividend for the year was announced as 7.2 pence per share, a 20% increase.
Excluding the acquisition of Volvo Aero, completed in October 2012, GKN created a positive free cash flow of £213 million, up 45%. The acquisition of Volvo Aero had a fair value of £538 million and led to the increase in net debt from £538 million in 2011 to £871 million in 2012.
GKN Driveline, which makes driveshafts and other car parts, saw an organic sales growth of 7%. The division saw a continued expansion of Mexico and China. GKN Metallurgy and Aerospace saw similar growth of 7%-8%.
Looking to 2013, GKN "expects 2013 to be a year of good progress for the Group." Automotive global light vehicle production is set to grow 2% with increases in Asia and North America, but expected to fall in Europe. Against this lower demand, GKN are planning to restructure the cost base at a cost of £21 million.
Nigel Stein, GKN's chief executive, commented:
2012 was another strong year for GKN with record profits in all four divisions. The Group has continued to make good progress financially and in implementing our strategy to build a market-leading global business, with excellent technology, a focus on operational excellence and above-market growth.
GKN operates in global markets and has the capabilities needed to take advantage of the growth opportunities that those markets bring. With the benefit of a full year contribution from Volvo Aero, we expect 2013 to be a year of good progress for the Group.
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