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Adient plc (NYSE:ADNT)
Q1 2020 Earnings Call
Jan 31, 2020, 8:30 a.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:

Operator

Thank you for standing by and welcome to the Q1 FY20 earnings call. [Operator Instructions] I would now like to go ahead and turn today's call over to Mark Oswald. Sir, you may begin.

Mark Oswald -- Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications

Thank you, Jacqueline. Good morning, and thank you for joining us as we review Adient's results for the first quarter of fiscal year 2020. The press release and presentation slides for the call today have been posted to the Investors section on our website at adient.com.

This morning, I'm joined by Doug DelGrosso, Adient's President and Chief Executive Officer; and Jeff Stafeil, our Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. On today's call, Doug will provide an update on the business, followed by Jeff, who will review our Q1 financial results and 2020 outlook. After our prepared remarks, we will open the call to your questions.

Before I turn the call over to Doug and Jeff, there are a few items I'd like to cover. First, today's conference call will include forward-looking statements. These statements are based on the environment as we see it today and therefore involve risks and uncertainties. I would caution you that our actual results could differ materially from those forward-looking statements made on the call. Please refer to Slide 2 of our presentation for our complete Safe Harbor statement.

In addition to the financial results presented on a GAAP basis, we will be discussing non-GAAP information that we believe is useful in evaluating the Company's operating performance. Reconciliations to these non-GAAP measures to the closest GAAP equivalent can be found in the appendix of our full earnings release.

This concludes my comments, and I'll turn the call over to Doug. Doug?

Doug Del Grosso -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Okay. Thanks Mark and thanks to our investors, prospective investors, analysts joining the call this morning and spending time with us as we review our first quarter results. Turning to Slide 4, similar to previous earning calls, I'll start off with a quick review of Adient's recent developments and key highlights.

First, Adient reported strong Q1 financial results. The results build on the positive momentum established in the second half of last year and demonstrate that the improvement phase of our turnaround plan is solidly on track. Sales at $3.9 billion were in line with internal expectations. Adjusted EBITDA increased to $297 million, up $121 million year-on-year. This marked the fourth consecutive quarter of sequential improvement and the first quarter of year-over-year improvement since our fourth quarter of 2017. In addition to the benefits associated with our turnaround actions, which accounted for much of the improvement, the quarter also benefited from certain items, namely the resolution of various commercial settlements that tend to be lumpy between periods. Jeff will expand on this in just a few minutes. Moving on, adjusted earnings per share for the most recent quarter were $0.96 versus $0.31 per share last year. And finally, we ended the quarter with $965 million of cash on hand.

Outside of our strong financial results, the team also made portfolio moves, selling its RECARO Automotive Seating business. The sale further demonstrates Adient's commitment to the core business and focus on capital allocation. Besides RECARO, Adient announced an agreement this morning with our joint venture partner, Yanfeng, to restructure the existing joint venture relationships. This includes the sale of 30% ownership stake in Yanfeng Automotive Interiors to Yanfeng for $379 million. We also agreed to extend the term of our YFAS joint venture to December 31, 2038. The extension demonstrates Adient's continued commitment to the partnership and the region.

In addition, we agreed to sell certain patents and other intellectual properties exclusively used in our seating and mechanism business to AYM for $20 million. And finally, Adient and Yanfeng agreed to amend the AYM joint venture agreement to update AYM's business scope to allow AYM to carry out its seating mechanism business both in and outside of People's Republic of China, PRC, for both PRC and non-PRC customers. Adient intends to leverage AYM's expanded presence in the global seating mechanism market as we continue to right-size our own metals business. These actions are important not only do they further our position for long-term success, they also demonstrate the Company's commitment to driving shareholder value.

From a product and innovation standpoint, earlier this month, we participated and partnered with the electronics leader LG at the CES to display our AI19 vehicle interior. The interior showcased the integration of LG's electronic technologies with our future mobility solutions that address the trends in mobility such as autonomous and semi-autonomous driving. We're pleased with our collaboration with LG and the potential opportunities it creates.

Overall, the team successfully executed on many fronts during the quarter. The strong start to fiscal 2020 laid a solid foundation for the Company to deliver on its full-year commitments. In fact, the operation's steadily improving driving [Phonetic] earnings and cash flow growth, combined with the proceeds of the strategic actions just discussed, we're expecting to accelerate a portion of our debt paydown later this year.

Turning to Slide 5, just a few points related to new business wins and launch status. You can see from the examples highlighted on the left, Adient continues to win new and replacement business. The selected wins demonstrate solid mix across regions, SUVs and luxury platforms such as a large SUV from Toyota, the Junior Jeep, the Alfa Romeo Kid, and pictured in the middle, Ford Mustang Mach E. Speaking of the Mustang Mach E, it's worth noting, as we called out on the slide, the significant number of program wins within China, EMEA and the Americas are the EV platforms. In fact, we presently hold approximately 70% market share of the EV market in Europe. As our customers continue to develop and launch new and alternative propulsion platforms, Adient's leading market position is expected to strengthen, given the diversification of powertrains.

Turning to the right-hand side of the slide, we've illustrated a variety of programs that were recently launched or scheduled to launch in the coming months, including the Nissan Leaf; Toyota Tacoma; Cadillac CT5 program, which was launched at our BWI [Phonetic] facility in Lansing, Michigan; and the Tesla Model 3, launched in China. Bottom line, our focus on launch management has resulted in significant improvement in launch execution. In fact, Cadillac CT5, launched in our BWI facility, achieved a flawless launch scorecard, we call it 0-0-100-100-90, which breaks down to zero safety incidents, zero customer rechecks, 100% on-time delivery, 100% achievement of financial targets within 90 days from start of production. In addition, I'd like to mention certain of the launches that we called out last quarter. The Chevrolet Onix and the Toyota Corolla in South America also achieved flawless launch scorecards and were recognized by our customers.

The Tesla Model 3 launch is another success story worth mentioning, given the compressed timing of the program to complete seat business that was awarded to Adient joint venture YFAS in July of 2019 with the first batch of seats delivered in late December of that year. Adient's focus on adherence to proven processes enabled a successful launch, despite the start of production occurring just six months post program award.

Turning to Slide 6 and the progress we're making on the turnaround plan. As mentioned on our last earnings call, the Company began its transition to the improvement phase of our turnaround plan, having stabilized the business in 2019. Underpinning the earnings and cash flow growth reported this morning for Adient's first quarter and expected to continue through 2020 are four focus areas: launch management, operational improvement, continued cost reduction and commercial discipline.

I'm pleased to report the plan is solidly on track. Specific proof points include: first, related to launch management, the team's focus around change management, enhanced readiness and program reviews enabled the significant improvement in launch performance over the past several quarters. The flawless launch scorecard on the CT5 discussed moments ago demonstrate the significant year-on-year improvement achieved in the Americas. The improved performance has translated into significant reduction in launch costs, down in the Americas and EMEA approximately 40% and 15% respectively year-on-year.

In addition to launch management, the team has made solid progress improving operating performance at several of our manufacturing locations. The improved performance resulted in significant year-on-year reduction in premium freight, dropping over 85% for the Americas and EMEA combined in Q1 2020 compared with last year. Ops waste is trending in a similar direction, declining 35% in the Americas and close to 30% in EMEA year-on-year. Within ops waste, containment costs are also down significantly in both segments.

Outside of the progress made through operational improvements, maintaining a strict focus on costs has also contributed to Adient's improving financial results.

Our VAVE initiative, designed to take material costs out of the system, continues to accelerate. In fact, we increased the number of customer engagements in the regional benchmarking centers located in our technical centers. During Q1, we completed 20 plus workshops across the Americas and EMEA, which included customers, suppliers, JIT and metal. In Asia, over 1,000 new VAVE ideas were generated from workshops and internal reviews. 129 projects moved from action to implementing.

Opportunities to reduce SG&A spend remains a focus for the team. The changes made in our organization structure last year continued to provide further opportunities to right-size our above-plan structure. Point of reference, Adient's full-time equivalent headcount at the end of 2019 was down about 4% compared with 2018. This translates into approximately $40 million a year of gross savings for the Company.

Lastly, having a disciplined approach to where we allocate capital, whether it be for a program or a customer, is helping to drive profitability. As we look to close the margin gap with our peers, it may be necessary to walk away from certain programs and customers that are unprofitable. This commercial discipline is focused both on existing and future programs.

At the very bottom of the page, we've included various improvement proof points for our metals business. Since this business is being run as part of the reportable segments, whether it's Americas, EMEA or Asia, it's not surprising to see the KPIs heading in the similar direction to those we just covered for total Adient. Adjusted EBITDA for total plants improved $38 million versus Q1 last year. Launch costs were down, outbound premium freight is down and ops waste has been significantly reduced. These metrics indicate we're heading in the right direction.

One final point as it relates to reporting of our metals business since our reportable segments are being run to maximize the segment's profitability, isolating the performance of the prior's [Phonteic] metals business has become increasingly difficult. For example, as we take actions to reduce our plant costs, Jerome and Michel are making decisions to improve the profitability of their overall segment. In many instances, the actions taken do not involve a person that's 100% dedicated to seats or metals. It's likely a resource supporting the overall business. We recognize the need to continue to provide you with appropriate proof points to give you confidence the turnaround plan is progressing, and we'll continue to do that, essentially like we just discussed. Unfortunately, providing additional detail will not be possible. But that said, our commitment to bring the business to cash flow positive by 2022 remains intact, and we're on track to do just that.

Turning to Slide 7, I thought this slide would be a good reminder of, both internally and externally, what the Company is driving for. It's simple; we're executing actions to increase shareholder value. Again, last year, as we stabilized the business, we improved relationships with our customer. As we exited fiscal 2019, we transitioned to the improvement phase of the turnaround. This, of course, is underpinned by our specific focus areas of launch management, operational improvement, cost reduction and commercial discipline. Although it's really days, our second half performance in 2019 and recent first quarter results demonstrate the Company is solidly on track, with the business stabilized and steadily improving, and as expected, earnings and cash flow growth are materializing. In addition, we are now positioned to execute additional actions to further enhance shareholder value such as portfolio adjustments, levering our relationships in China, and accelerating debt repayment, to name just a few. No doubt, we're off to a good start, but we realize there's a lot of work ahead.

Before turning the call over to Jeff, just a few comments on how Adient is addressing challenges presented by the serious coronavirus. First and foremost, the health and safety of our employees is always Adient's top priority. To ensure this during the virus outbreak, we've implemented a variety of safety measures, including: restrictions on business travel to, from and within China and the APAC region; closing our offices in China until February 10, in compliance with the government extending the Chinese New Year holiday to February 9; implementing an office sanitation program and enforcing strict hygiene protocols for our employees. We continue to closely monitor the situation and will adapt these guidelines as appropriate. In addition, we formed a global response team to ensure a coordinated contingency plan is in place, proactively monitoring any impact related to customers, suppliers and joint venture relationship. As far as any estimate on specific impact to Adient's business, it's too early to forecast. We're working with our customers and suppliers to remain aware of and connected to their efforts as the outbreak continues. As more details and information become available, we will provide updates as appropriate.

With that, I'll turn the call over to Jeff, so he can take us through Adient's financial performance for the quarter and what to expect as we progress through the rest of the fiscal year '20. Thanks.

Jeff Stafeil -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thanks Doug, and good morning, everyone. I'll start my comments on Slide 9. And adhering to our typical format, the page is formatted with our reported results in the left and our adjusted results in the right side of the page. We will focus our commentary on the adjusted results, which exclude special items that we view as either onetime in nature or otherwise skew important trends in underlying performance.

For the quarter, the biggest drivers of the difference between our reported and our adjusted results relate to an asset impairment related to the writedown associated with the expected sale of Adient's 30% stake in YFAI, a loss associated with the sale of our RECARO Automotive Seating business, a purchase accounting adjustment -- or amortization, and to a lesser extent, restructuring cost. Details of these adjustments are on the appendix of the presentation.

Sales were $3.9 billion, down 4% year-over-year, excluding the impact of FX. Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was $297 million, up $121 million or 69% year-over-year, and is more than explained by improved business performance across Americas, EMEA and Asia. Included in the results are roughly $30 million of commercial settlements from various customers that tend to be lumpy across quarters, and another, call it [Phonetic], $10 million in tax credit at various JVs in China. I'll have more on these items as we walk through the segment results.

Finally, adjusted net income and EPS were up significantly year-over-year at $90 million and $0.96 respectively. As you can see, the improved operating results were partially offset by higher tax rate in this year's first quarter versus a year ago. As we've discussed, our tax expense is higher in the current year due to booking valuation allowances in several geographies in the second half of fiscal '19.

Now, let's break down our first quarter results in more detail, starting with revenue on Slide 10. We reported consolidated sales of $3.9 billion, a decrease of $222 million compared to the same period a year ago. Lower volume and mix across North America, Europe and Asia impacted the year-over-year results by approximately $179 million. As a side note, in North America, the impact of the GM labor strike impacted results by about $55 million. In addition, the negative impact of currency movements between the two periods, primarily in Europe, impacted the quarter by $43 million. Worth noting, the call-out at the bottom of the slide, consolidated sales in China were up 6% year-on-year, well ahead of vehicle production in China, which was up approximately 1%. Unfortunately, [Indecipherable] with internal expectations discussed with you in November, significant volume declines in Thailand, Japan and South Korea more than offset China's performance in the APAC region.

With regard to Adient's unconsolidated Seating and SS&M revenue, driven primarily through our strategic JV network in China, sales were up about 4% when adjusting for FX, again, outpacing the 1% increase in China's vehicle production over the same period. Sales for unconsolidated interiors, recognized through our 30% ownership stake in Yanfeng Automotive Interiors, were down 3% when adjusted for FX. Important to note, about half of this business is conducted outside of China.

Moving to Slide 11, we've provided a bridge of adjusted EBITDA to show the performance of our segments between periods. The bucket labeled Corporate represents central costs that are not allocated back to the operation such as executive office, communications, corporate finance, legal and marketing.

Big picture, adjusted EBITDA was $297 million in the current quarter versus $176 million last year. The corresponding margin related to the $297 million of adjusted EBITDA was 7.5%, up approximately 330 basis points versus Q1 last year. Excluding equity income, as noted at the bottom of the slide, our margin increased 260 basis points year-over-year to 4.8%. Although the team made significant progress during the quarter, as demonstrated by the year-over-year improvement, these results do not reflect the desired level of profitability for the business. The team remains focused on executing the turnaround plan to drive Adient's margins to best-in-class.

The year-over-year improvement in adjusted EBITDA is largely driven by improved business performance in the Americas and EMEA. In addition, lower SG&A cost in America and EMEA, combined with an increase in equity income in Asia, benefited the quarter. On a side note, this is the first quarter of year-over-year improvement since the fourth quarter of 2017. Sequentially, with the fourth quarter of 2019, Adient's Q1 performance improved by $82 million, the fourth consecutive quarter of improvement and further evidence that operating environment in Americas and EMEA continues to improve.

Finally, Americas and EMEA SS&M business progressed in a positive direction with plant manufacturing results improving just under $40 million versus last year's Q1 and approximately $14 million better compared with the fourth quarter of 2019. Similar to past quarters, we've included detailed bridges for our reportable segments, which consist of Americas, EMEA and Asia, on Slides 12, 13 and 14.

Turning to Slide 12 and the Americas, adjusted EBITDA increased to $94 million, up $51 million year-on-year. The corresponding margin of 5.1% was up 290 basis points versus last year. Business performance led the way, improving $40 million year-over-year. The key drivers within this bucket included: improved launch, ops waste and freight, which together totaled about $18 million; and commercial, which also improved by $18 million year-over-year.

A component of commercial would include various routine customer settlements, which tend to be lumpy in nature between quarters. During the quarter, we resolved the backlog of open issues with a variety of customers. These settlements are common, especially toward the end of the calendar year, as our customers close out their own year.

SG&A was another strong contributor in the quarter, as Americas benefited from a reduction in net engineering, increased efficiencies and the deconsolidation of Adient Aerospace. Partially offsetting these benefits was the negative impact of lower volume and mix, which can be largely explained by the temporary impact of the GM strike.

Now, turning to Slide 13 and discussing EMEA's results. Overall, adjusted EBITDA increased to $49 million with a corresponding margin of 3.1%, up $47 million, while margin improved 300 basis points respectively year-over-year. Again, good progress but significantly below optimal levels. Like Americas, substantial improvements in launch, ops waste and freight, combined with positive commercial actions, drove a $44 million improvement in business performance. The EMEA team also worked hard to reduce SG&A costs, which improved $12 million compared with Q1 of last year. Lower volume and mix partially offset these benefits.

Finally, turning to Slide 14 and our Asia segment performance. For the quarter, adjusted EBITDA was $177 million, or $23 million higher when compared with Q1 2019. Equity income increased $26 million, driven by an approximate $10 million benefit associated with tax credits at various JVs and $5 million of commercial settlements. In addition, improved operational performance, both at the seating JVs and YFAI, contributed to the increase in equity income. Important to remember, equity income is historically strongest in Q1 -- our fiscal Q1, mirroring the seasonality of China's vehicle production pattern. We continue to expect a significant reduction heading into fiscal Q2, primarily driven by lower vehicle production surrounding the Chinese New Year holidays, as well as the developing impact of the coronavirus. More on our outlook in just a minute. In addition to equity income, business performance increased by about $9 million year-over-year, driven primarily by improved material margin. Lower volume and mix, combined with higher engineering costs associated with the current launch schedules, were partial offsets.

Now, let me shift to our cash and capital structure on Slide 15. On the left-hand side of the page, we break down our cash flow. Adjusted free cash flow, defined as operating cash flow less capex, was $148 million for the quarter. The $121 million improvement in adjusted EBITDA, improved trade working capital and a $53 million reduction in capital spending between the two periods explain the vast majority of the increase in free cash flow versus last year.

Trade working capital, as mentioned on several of our past calls and noted on the slide, tend to be quite volatile throughout each quarter. However, over the course of the year, the impact generally tends to balance out. Also note that our AR factoring in Europe was approximately $50 million higher at December 31 than at September 30.

For capital spending, the year-over-year decline is partially related to the timing of our customers' launch plans, as well as an increased scrutiny over spending. The teams are working closely to identify opportunities to reuse capital where appropriate. And as a result, we're expecting to spend less in capital -- in capex this year versus prior expectations. More on that in a minute. As you can see in the footnote, we continue to break out capex by segment.

On the right-hand side of the page, we detail our cash and debt position. At December 31, 2019, we ended the quarter with $965 million in cash and cash equivalents. Gross debt and net debt totaled $3,754 million and $2,789 million respectively on December 31. It's worth mentioning, there are no near-term maturities, thanks to the refinancing completed last May.

And speaking of the refinancing, at that time, we intentionally increased the Company's liquidity to ensure the team had appropriate funding to execute the turnaround plan. With our turnaround plan firmly rooted and gaining momentum, and as evidenced by the several quarters of improving operating and financial results, we're confident we can continue to execute the plan with a lower level of liquidity. As we move through the next couple of quarters, we'd expect to pay down between $100 million to $200 million of debt using the excess liquidity residing on our balance sheet.

Now, moving to Slide 16 and just a few comments on the strategic transactions that we've recently announced and how those actions offer additional opportunities to strengthen Adient's balance sheet. First, the divestiture of RECARO Automotive Seating. As you know, RECARO served a niche market, providing low volume of specialty seating. The business was essentially break-even. Realizing we'd be -- we need to make a significant investment in next-generation product and incur restructuring costs to improve its profitability, we elected to divest the business, which is very consistent with our commitment to our core business and focus on capital allocation.

With the strategic actions with Yanfeng announced earlier this morning, major components of the agreements include the sale of Adient's 30% ownership stake in YFAI to Yanfeng. Although the partnership we have with Yanfeng is highly valuable and strategic, the interiors business is not core to Adient. We've said in the past that we'd be open to monetizing the investment if the opportunity arose, and we have now found such an opportunity. The sale price was $379 million. And if you recall, we were expecting equity income from YFAI to total approximately $45 million for fiscal 2020, of which $17 million was included in our Q1 results. By the way, we expect little to no tax leakage on this transaction.

We also agreed to make amendments to the AYM joint venture agreement. As a reminder, AYM is a 50-50 joint venture with Yanfeng that was formed in late 2013 to produce mechanisms such as recliners, tracks, height adjusters and locks. The amendment to the JV agreement includes: the sale of mechanism patents and other intellectual property to AYM for $20 million; AYM will license such IP back to Adient on a royalty-free basis; and a change in AYM's business scope to allow AYM to carry out its mechanisms business both inside and outside of China. This change in business scope is significant as Adient intends to further leverage AYM's expertise going forward. Sourcing a larger portion of Adient's metals through this high-quality, low-cost business should allow us to accelerate the right-sizing of our metals business. And finally, Adient and Yanfeng agreed to extend the JV agreement with YFAS to December 31, 2038. This extension demonstrates a strong commitment to the partnership and the region.

In summary, these actions strengthen our valuable relationship with Yanfeng, demonstrates our continued commitment to the core seating business and disciplined approach to our capital allocation, especially as we pivot to become less capital-intensive with the right-sizing of our metals business. As noted on the slide, we expect to use the approximate $400 million in proceeds to de-lever the balance sheet. This amount is incremental to the $100 million to $200 million of debt paydown discussed on the previous slide.

Now turning to Slide 17, I'll continue with a few comments on what to expect as we progress through the remainder of 2020. I know many of you may be tempted to take our Q1 results and multiply by 4 to get a revised full-year estimate. I wish it were that easy. But unfortunately, there are several -- or certain macro factors and Adient-specific headwinds that prevent us -- prevent that from being the case. Let's break down the specifics.

Starting with revenue, we expect the full year to settle between $15.6 billion and $15.8 billion. Although the range has not changed from our previous estimate, certain of the components have shifted, namely related to the divestiture of RECARO for the balance of the year, but is largely offset by an increase in production expected at GM as they work to make up lost volume associated with the labor strike. Also important to note, as previously communicated, second half 2020 revenue is expected to be $400 million to $500 million lower compared to the first half, driven by lower industry volumes and the impact of several product launches, including the Ford F-150, Ram, various Nissan programs in North America, Volkswagen's ID.4, various Daimler programs, and the PSA Citroen C4 Picasso in Europe.

For adjusted EBITDA, the solid start to the year, combined with further benefits expected from our turnaround plan, underpin the upward revision to between $870 million to $910 million versus our previous expectations of between $820 million to $860 million. The new adjusted EBITDA range reflects a $30 million decreased equity income, resulting from the announced sale of YFAI, as we do not plan to report equity income for YFAI on a go-forward basis. Thus the midpoint of our guide is approximately $80 million higher than the previous guide on an apples-to-apples basis.

Important to point out, the planned decline in revenue in the second half of 2020, both in our consolidated and unconsolidated JVs, is expected to partially offset continued operational improvements in both America and EMEA. Further impacting our balance of year earnings is our launch load in the second half of the year, which is biased toward the programs that carry relatively high decremental margin.

Speaking of equity income, we now expect equity income will range between $235 million and $245 million, factoring in our Q1 results and announced sale of YFAI. As a reminder, we continue to expect equity income will mirror seasonality patterns of China's vehicle production, strongest in Q1, followed by a substantial decline in Adient's fiscal second quarter, which tend to be impacted by lower production surrounding the Chinese New Year holiday. In fact, we're expecting an approximate $70 million reduction in equity income in our second quarter compared with the quarter just completed. A forecasted $500 million reduction in sales in China in Q2 versus Q1 is the primary driver. In addition, we will not report YFAI income -- equity income, as I previous mentioned.

One more point on China, the macro environment is very uncertain at this time, given the coronavirus. The impact of the virus on the economy is currently unclear, and our guidance therefore does not include any prolonged or significant impact. However, we continue to monitor the situation closely and will update our planning assumptions as appropriate as we better understand the impact to the industry and Adient.

Moving on, interest expense has been revised lower to approximately $190 million. This estimate does not take into consideration the accelerated debt paydown discussed earlier, as a large majority of the paydown will be dependent on the closing of the YFAI transactions, which we expect will take place before the end of our 2020 fiscal year. Cash taxes in fiscal '20 are still expected to range between $100 million to $110 million, similar to last year's level. Important to remember, net operating loss carry-forwards can offset income as profits increase, so cash taxes on Adient's operations should remain low, even as profits are increasing.

With regard to Adient's effective tax rate, and for modeling purposes, our read in the high-30% range is still appropriate. We'd expect that rate to fluctuate on a quarterly basis due to the valuation allowances and our geographic mix of income. Based on our first quarter performance and given our intense focus on cash flow, we now expect capital expenditures to settle in the $440 million to $460 million range. And finally, one last item for your modeling, we expect our improved operating profit and reduced capital expenditures will result in positive free cash flow for the year.

With that, let's move on to the question-and-answer portion of the call.

Mark Oswald -- Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications

Jacqueline, if we can take the first question?

Questions and Answers:

Operator

[Operator Instructions] Our first question comes from John Murphy of Bank of America. Your line is open.

John Murphy -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

Good morning, guys, and congrats on getting a lot done this quarter. Just first on the Yanfeng transactions, I'm just curious why you're pulling the trigger on this now. Is it something, Doug, that you kind of started working on once you got there and it just took some time to get it done? Or what was really the impetus for doing this right now?

Doug Del Grosso -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Okay, John, just to -- first of all, good morning. Thanks for calling in. Which transaction specifically?

John Murphy -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

The Yanfeng transactions on the JVs.

Doug Del Grosso -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Sorry, just wanted to make sure -- it's a little [Indecipherable]. So, as Jeff mentioned, the opportunity arose as we looked to renew our YFAS joint venture in China. That's been a tremendous asset for the Company. We were in talks with YF. And we were looking to find a way to take that relationship to the next level. We felt that that was best served as we build the relationship, not only extending in China, but also looking toward our mechanism business to see how we could globally leverage that business. As part of that discussion, we've been looking for opportunities to extract cash out of China to our advantage. YFAI became an opportunity for us. And because that's not really a core business on the interior side that we participate in, we just felt that the timing made sense to go after it. So that's generally how the stars aligned, if you will. And we're really excited about the opportunity to continue to build that relationship with YF. I don't know, Jeff, any other comments?

Jeff Stafeil -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

No, I think you hit it well. Just as you look at YFAI, we talked about that being non-core and finding that opportunity. But John, as you look here, it was very important for us to extend the joint venture with YFAS, highly successful, and expanding that relationship with AYM just dovetails right in with the plan Doug has outlined to improve the cash flow of this business by taking some of the emphasis off of the mechanisms business that has historically used a lot of capital and hasn't necessarily had a great return. AYM has really done the opposite. They have had great returns. We own 50% of that business. So this allows a nice harmony, and it all kind of came together. It took a while to get together. So it's not like we just worked on it this quarter, but it's been in the making for a while.

John Murphy -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

And maybe if I can follow-up on the AYM side, it sounds like this is allowing you to maybe rationalize the -- your core consolidated structures business a bit faster. Is there the potential there could be asset sales from your core business into the AYM JV that might raise more cash? Or is that kind of a -- sort of a no-no?

Doug Del Grosso -- President and Chief Executive Officer

No, that's not a no-no. That's something we'll look. This is the first step. We think there's more that can be done. Nothing to announce today, but that's something we'll absolutely be looking at.

John Murphy -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

Okay. And then, Doug, just as we think about the margins, you've got a ways to go to grind to sort of a peer or "normalized" margins. But this quarter kind of showed you're making some real definitive progress on some of the issues of premium freight excess cost and launch issues. What is kind of your thought process as to when you might be able to get to a "normalized" peer margins? Is it something that's still going to take two to three to four years as you're rolling off some of the old bad contracts? Or is it something you'll get to maybe sooner than that?

Doug Del Grosso -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Well, if we take some of the macro environmental issues out of the equation, to answer your question, I think we've made good progress. I still think this is a multi-year journey. We're not changing that time horizon as a result of our Q1 performance. But it's clearly demonstrating when we focus on the basics, from a launch and operational performance and meet our customers' expectation, that we really change the environment with our customers and we can get a lot more done. So that's always been our approach: stabilize, meet our customers' expectations from a delivery, performance, quality. And then that opens the door for us to engage with them, I'd say, commercially and also on a cost side of the equation. So, multi-year, but we're pretty satisfied with the performance that's reflected in Q1.

John Murphy -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

Great, thank you very much.

Doug Del Grosso -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, John.

Operator

Thank you. Our next question comes from Joseph Spak of RBC Capital Markets. Your line is open.

Joseph Spak -- RBC Capital Markets -- Analyst

Good morning, everyone. Thanks for taking the question. I guess, just to start on the commercial settlements, it sounds like what you're saying is, this is lumpy, this is based on some recoveries and sort of contractual recoveries. Is that right, and this is not a result of some of the other sort of commercial settlements you've talked about and going back to customers and trying to sort of reprice some of the contracts?

Doug Del Grosso -- President and Chief Executive Officer

It's both. As we've always said, there has been a backlog of issues that were difficult to close out with our customer because we had performance issues that were in our control standing in the way. So as we've addressed our performance issues, that's allowed us to come and engage with our customer and resolve some of the -- that backlog, if you will.

The other element is a function of the way the calendar and fiscal years end. And we get a lot of things done at the end of our customers' calendar year that benefit us in our first quarter of fiscal year. So it's both, if you will.

Joseph Spak -- RBC Capital Markets -- Analyst

Okay. In the remaining China JVs, your guidance, I think, like if you -- on an apples-to-apples basis, it's kind of steady. But one quarter was much stronger than expected and there was sort of the $10 million tax credit. So it implies some significantly lower implied margins in the seating JVs over the course of the year. What's driving that? And is that sort of a more new normal rate to think about in China?

Doug Del Grosso -- President and Chief Executive Officer

It's a little bit of the latter. So we align our forecast with what our customers provide us for the immediate, and then we look at IHS to give us an idea of what we can expect to -- beyond the releases that we have with our customers or what our stated customers' volume are projected to be. Part of it is mix. We have customers like SGM and Ford who have been struggling in the market. That takes that number down. But that really defines most of it, APAC aside. I don't know, Jeff, any additional comments?

Jeff Stafeil -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yeah, Joe, I'd say, for the most part, as we look at China, it's got a pretty high detrimental margin. It's pretty -- it's a strong business. So as we predict weaker sales environment, that's going to drive some margin reduction, mostly just because of the detrimental side. I'd say, what we're seeing in Asia largely has been a volume story and not really a margin story. But to some degree, there is a mixed story within that margin. SGM, Doug mentioned, is a key customer. It also significantly presumably could be impacted pretty heavily -- about 20% of their production is in Wuhan in China. So as we look at going forward, that's an important customer for us. But in general, what we projected here is mostly driven just by volume expectations in the market.

Joseph Spak -- RBC Capital Markets -- Analyst

Okay. And then, quickly on the AYM portion of the JV actions, how long it will take for them to get set up on mechanisms? And can you offload or, I guess, like outsource business to them? Or is this more for go-forward contracts?

Jeff Stafeil -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yes, yes and yes, it's probably right, yeah.

Doug Del Grosso -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Well, they essentially provide all of our mechanisms in the China market today.

Joseph Spak -- RBC Capital Markets -- Analyst

So they're set up today?

Doug Del Grosso -- President and Chief Executive Officer

They are. Today -- in fact, they are incredibly well set up today. They have a plant in China that is world-class that not only supplies the majority of our product in the region, also exports to Europe and North America quite well.

Joseph Spak -- RBC Capital Markets -- Analyst

Okay, thank you.

Operator

Thank you. Our next question comes from Dan Levy of Credit Suisse. Your line is open.

Dan Levy -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

Hi, good morning.

Doug Del Grosso -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Good morning.

Dan Levy -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

Thank you for taking the questions. I just wanted to follow up, again, on the commercial settlements here. How should we think about how many more contracts you have that really need to be repriced? And just what's the -- if they're repriced, is this just for like a onetime annual benefit or is this for the duration of the contract? Just trying to get a sense of the sustainability of these benefits into out years. And how much more you have to reprice within your contracts and programs?

Jeff Stafeil -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yeah, Dan, before Doug talks about some of those other points, let me just maybe get a little bit of a primer on sort of the commercial settlements for us. We have obviously enormous number of contracts with our customers that have volume components, that have all kinds of different components that impact the price our customer pays to us. And we also have productivity or price reductions that we estimate that we'll give to them through the year. What you're talk -- what we're talking about here for the most part in these commercial settlements is routine activity of the Company that happens year in year out. If I go back and look at history, we've had these since the beginning of time. But they tend to be lumpy and we're trying to basically emphasize that in the comments here. We tend to make an estimate, let's say, what productivity number we might give to a customer. And as we get to the end of the year with a mix of all the other commercial issues, we either overestimate or underestimate where that is. What we tend to be is, we tend to be a bit conservative as a company on this. So we -- generally, as we reach the final conclusion with each of these customers, which typically happens at the end of the calendar year, we tend to have a bit of a benefit. So in our first quarter of fiscal year, historically, our accruals would sort of suggest this over time is pretty consistent. We get a similar type benefit. You just can't annualize it through the period, and that's what we're trying to really emphasize here in calling it out.

Doug Del Grosso -- President and Chief Executive Officer

And maybe if I can just further that, what I would add to it is, a year ago, we had a lot of unresolved contractual issues with our customer. For the most part, those have been addressed. What I will say as we move forward, and it's somewhat the nature of our business, is, our product tends to change quite a bit. And that creates opportunity for us to engage with our customers and offer solutions that can benefit our bottom line. That's just the nature of the seating business. That's something we've recommitted our activities to support.

So when we talk about VAVE, that's not just necessarily running workshops to find ways to take cost out, although that's an important part, it's also telling our customers where there is real value in the product based on our assessment of the market and benchmarking their product to what we think is most valuable and then offering mid-cycle solutions that otherwise they wouldn't be investigating. And that's really our focus as we move forward is, continuing to drive value. Many of our customers are looking for ways to take cost out of the seating product to address some of their needs. Many of our customers are looking to move away from controlling that value chain and giving us the opportunity to control it, if we can offer a better commercial proposal for them. So it's kind of a continuous activity that we've recommitted ourselves to, that our regional groups understand and our customer groups understand. And so, when we talk about closing that gap to our peers, a lot of it will be a result of just being more commercially savvy with our customers.

Dan Levy -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

Okay, great. Thank you. Second question, your organic growth -- revenue growth in the quarter was minus 4%. But that's actually a couple of points better than what the -- what light vehicle production did in the quarter. You've now had a couple of quarters -- a handful of quarters of organic revenue outgrowth versus the market. It's lumpy, but it's still outgrowth. And this is even with what should be downsizing of SSM. So can you just give us a sense of what's happening in your organic growth or the incremental content? Is it just better platform exposure? And what might this tell us about how to think of, in the future, your relationship of organic growth versus LVP, call it, the outgrowth, setting aside what's going to be the likely impact of future downsizing of SSM, which I suspect we haven't really seen yet in the revenue results?

Doug Del Grosso -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Okay. So it's certainly -- a lot of it has to do with mix. And one of the great things about our revenue portfolio of products is, we have great mix to SUV, light truck, luxury customers. And as that mix -- as the market mix turns in that direction, that certainly gives us benefit. And that's particularly true in the Americas where we're well positioned in the light truck market. I think that's part of the answer.

If we look at -- we're not releasing the projected backlog. But because our relationships with our customers have significantly improved, our performance has improved, we resolved commercial issues, we feel very confident about our backlog. The numbers we typically talk about is incumbent business that we continue to win. And we're operating -- in the case of China, I can get a 100% and the high-90s everywhere else in the world. So we feel good longer term that that backlog continues to come on. I think that really covers -- I think answers your question. Any additional comments for that, Jeff?

Jeff Stafeil -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

No.

Doug Del Grosso -- President and Chief Executive Officer

No, I guess that's how I would look at it.

Dan Levy -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

And there is no sort of backlog, air pocket or anything like that? When we've heard of some of your competitors talk about conquest [Phonetic] business, it sounds like -- you're saying that you're winning all the JIT business. The backlog is intact. There is no future air pocket that may occur between now versus when these rewins that you've talked about occur. Is that a fair assessment? So this [Speech Overlap].

Doug Del Grosso -- President and Chief Executive Officer

That's a fair assessment. The only disclaimer I put on that is the comments we made in our formal remarks that there are businesses that we're taking a hard look at. And if we can't put together a thoughtful financial projection that gives us a return on investment, then we're prepared to walk away from that. At this stage, nothing to announce. But that's, again, a different attitude I think we have when we look at new business opportunity; nothing sacred. And we weigh each opportunity, each customer and each region or each product different. They're not weighted equally, and we take that all into account before we decide whether we want business or not.

Dan Levy -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

Okay, thank you.

Mark Oswald -- Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications

And Jacqueline, can we take our last question from Brian?

Operator

Yes, our last question comes from Brian Johnson of Barclays. Your line is open.

Brian Johnson -- Barclays -- Analyst

Two questions. First, on the SS&M licensing and the arrangement with Yanfeng, does this open up the possibility to engage in value engineering discussions with North American and European customers about moving sourcing mechanisms to China?

Doug Del Grosso -- President and Chief Executive Officer

In fact, we're already doing that. That is happening independent of this. We just think bringing these businesses closer together allows us to make buy decisions even within our existing asset base to decide where it's best to put business. I think we're more aligned today in the way we think about that, engaging our purchasing organization, than historically we've been. So we're making those moves as we speak and have been making them over the last year-plus [Phonetic].

Brian Johnson -- Barclays -- Analyst

And in terms of the impact on supply chain logistics, just a movement [Phonetic] for the JIT factory, what's the customers' reaction to those suggestions?

Doug Del Grosso -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Typically -- well, first, our operations in China with AYM are outstanding operations. Many of our customers know them either from their relationship through China or as a result of the products that we ship to them through our JIT plants. So they are a known entity. For certain products, they're very cost-effective, and so that's taken into consideration. We always take into consideration extending supply -- our supply chain and the logistics cost and currency risk, etc., associated with that. So that's all baked into the cake, if you will. And when we can bring forward an attractive business proposal, taking all those issues in to account, we're pretty transparent with our customers. They understand the benefit that they'll receive and they're usually very much aligned with the decision and supportive.

Jeff Stafeil -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

And effectively, they're producing the same parts that we are. We design these together. Remember, it's our JV, so it's common -- we both produce the same recliner 3000 series. They've just been able to do it at a lower cost. But the output of the product is the same. So for the customer, it's...

Doug Del Grosso -- President and Chief Executive Officer

One additional point, we also operate a technical center through AYM, so this is not just the traditional low-cost country sourcing. They've got a lot of technical prowess. They can support the customers in region beyond just manufacturing side of things.

Mark Oswald -- Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications

Great. Thank you, Brian. And Jacqueline, it looks like we're at the bottom of the hour. So this will conclude the call this morning. If anybody did not get their chance to ask question, please feel free to reach out. Jeff and I will be available today. Thank you.

Doug Del Grosso -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks everyone.

Jeff Stafeil -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thanks everyone.

Operator

[Operator Closing Remarks]

Duration: 61 minutes

Call participants:

Mark Oswald -- Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications

Doug Del Grosso -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Jeff Stafeil -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

John Murphy -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

Joseph Spak -- RBC Capital Markets -- Analyst

Dan Levy -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

Brian Johnson -- Barclays -- Analyst

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