Last month Pininfarina showed off the two newest concepts of a string of projects it is carrying out for Hong Kong-based Hybrid Kinetic Group, namely the K350 SUV (top) and the H500 sedan (bottom). This programme is helping improve the company's revenues.

Pininfarina has today released its first quarter results of the year and they show continued improvement for the Italian design and engineering services company that’s steadily clawing its way back to profitability with the highlight so far this year being service sector production value jumping by a half while it says most of its businesses have improved their income.

The Board of Directors of Pininfarina met under the chairmanship Paolo Pininfarina and announced the results for the first three months of 2018 and in year-on-year terms (compared to Jan-Mar 2017) the famous Italian company said in a statement that “the value of production increased significantly (+ 53%) due to the greater contribution of all sectors and in particular that related to engineering services [while] EBITDA and EBIT have both significantly increased to represent, compared to the production value, 14% and 11% respectively (0.5% and 0.1% on 2017).

It added that “within the Group and with respect to 2017, all companies improve their income profile with the exception of the German businesses still struggling with a particularly difficult market [and] shareholders' equity of the Group at March 31, 2018, compared to December 31, 2017, is up substantially on the result for the period while the financial position is positive and improving by about 10% compared to December 31, 2017.”

Pininfarina also added that staff levels have risen from 573 at the end of last March to 622 by the end of this March, a rise of 9%.

Operations Sector

This once key sector has shrunk away to represent very little value to Pininfarina as contract manufacturing work has dried up over the last decade, primarily as OEMs have taken this activity in house, and that the minimal remaining revenue dropped by a third over the last year.

Pininfarina says that: “The sector includes, in addition to sales of spare parts for cars produced in previous years, the proceeds deriving from the licensing of the brand in the automotive sector and the rental of the business unit, the costs of the support bodies and the management of the real estate assets of the parent company Pininfarina SpA. The value of production amounted to 2.1 million euro, down compared to 3.2 million euro at March 31, 2017 mainly due to the sale of rights on a concept car no longer present in the quarter in question.

“The segment operating result was negative by € 0.9 million, in line with the figure for the first quarter of 2017,” the financial statement added.

Services Sector

This is where the historic Italian company is finding its growth and return to profitability as it continues to develop an industrial plan put in place after it suffered a severe downturn and was bought by Indian carmaker Mahindra Group three years ago.

“The sector, which includes the style and engineering activities, shows a production value of € 26.3 million, an increase of around 71% compared to the figure of 31 March 2017 (€ 15.4 million),” says Pininfarina.

“The sector operating result is a positive € 4 million compared to € 1.1 million in the first quarter of 2017, the main reason for the increase in the value of production and profitability between the two periods in comparison is attributable to the activities carried out in Italy and China,” it added.

Finally, in its forward-looking statement Pininfarina expects that the growth momentum can continue through the rest of the year. “Also, in light of the results achieved in the first quarter of the year, the consolidated figures for the entire financial year 2018 - related to the value of production, operating margins and net financial position - are expected to improve compared to the corresponding values recorded in 2017,” it said.

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Images: Pininfarina / 2018 Interfuture Media/Italiaspeed