CNH REPORTS THIRD QUARTER RESULTS
Revenues for the third quarter were $2.3 billion, down from $2.6 billion in the same period last year, on a pro forma basis. In addition to lower sales volumes, the decline included negative foreign exchange of $144 million, compared to 1999.
"Given our market environment, we are taking further steps to increase the pace of our merger integration activities," said Jean-Pierre Rosso, chairman and chief executive officer. "As a result, we now anticipate that annual savings from these activities will reach at least $600 million. Our efforts to accelerate the integration are expected to result in improved savings by the end of this year."
Third quarter results reflect increased cost reduction levels, as compared to the prior year on a pro forma basis. These were achieved through merger integration activities and ongoing cost initiatives. In addition, pricing continued to be slightly positive. These were offset primarily by economic cost increases, as well as comparably lower sales volumes and a change in product sales mix from the third quarter of 1999. In addition, negative foreign exchange impact contributed to lower results as did lower contributions from the company's financial services business.
For the first nine months of 2000, CNH had operating earnings of $197 million, compared to $276 million in the same period last year, on a pro forma basis. The company had a net loss, before goodwill and restructuring, of $113 million, or $.59 per share, for the first nine months of 2000, versus net income, before goodwill and restructuring, of $18 million, or $.12 per share, in 1999, on a pro forma basis. Including the impact of goodwill, the company had a first nine-month net loss before restructuring of $167 million, or $.87 per share, versus a net loss before restructuring, on a pro forma basis, of $33 million, or $.22 per share.
Revenues for the first nine months were $7.8 billion, compared to $8.2 billion in the same period last year, on a pro forma basis. In the first nine months of the year, unfavorable foreign exchange rates negatively impacted revenues by $413 million, compared to 1999. Lower volumes, particularly in the agricultural equipment business, also contributed to lower sales totals.
Through the first nine months of this year, CNH has incurred pre-tax restructuring charges of $115 million, primarily related to the sale of the Winnipeg, Canada, products and plant, as well as the privatization of selected retail stores in Europe, and administrative headcount reductions. With its plan for industrial rationalization and restructuring of its selling and administrative organization now set, the company expects to take further restructuring charges of approximately $400 million, before taxes, over the next two to three years. CNH now expects to realize at least $600 million in annual savings by 2003, up from the $500 million previously anticipated. By year-end, CNH expects these savings to reach approximately $155 million.
Consistent with its business and market outlook, CNH will decrease production and dealer shipments of agricultural and construction equipment in the fourth quarter, due to weaker market conditions and lower company sales. In addition, the company does not expect overall pricing to be at the level previously anticipated, due to an increasingly competitive market. Results will be further impacted by unfavorable foreign exchange rates, including the Euro and other currencies. As a result, the company expects fourth quarter results, before restructuring and goodwill, to be a loss of approximately $.22 to $.30 per share. In the fourth quarter, goodwill is expected to be approximately $.10 per share.
Merger Integration Actions Continue
CNH is continuing to implement steps in its merger integration plan. The company announced that it will close its manufacturing plant in Soracaba, Brazil, by the fourth quarter of 2001. Production of agricultural and construction equipment for Latin American markets will be consolidated at the company's three remaining plants in that country. In addition, CNH announced that it will move mini-excavator production from its Manchester, England, plant by year-end in preparation for the required divestiture of the Fermec construction equipment business.
The company has plans for further merger integration actions. These actions will be announced as details are finalized.
Worldwide Retail Equipment Sales
Worldwide retail unit sales of CNH agricultural equipment in the third quarter were slightly lower than the company's combined sales in the same period last year, while industry sales registered a slight improvement. In North America, CNH sales of large agricultural equipment continued to be negatively impacted by customer uncertainty regarding the divestiture of New Holland's large row-crop and four-wheel-drive tractor business, as well as industry expectations of a new line of Case IH four-wheel drive tractors that were introduced during the quarter. Shipments of these tractors will begin in the fourth quarter. As a result, retail unit sales of CNH high-horsepower tractors were lower than in the previous period, while the industry reported an improvement in tractor sales from the third quarter of 1999. CNH sales of combines also were down in North America, while industry sales were significantly better. In Europe, CNH agricultural equipment sales were lower, reflecting uncertainty around the divestiture of its Doncaster, England, operations. The industry was also lower. In Latin America, CNH sales of agricultural equipment were up significantly from the company's previous year's performance and better than the industry gains. And in other markets around the world, CNH sales were slightly higher than last year, while the industries in those markets reported lower sales.
Worldwide retail unit sales of CNH construction equipment were lower in the third quarter, while the industry remained at previous year's levels. CNH sales gains in Latin America and rest of world markets, were offset by lower sales in North America and Europe. In North America, sales of heavy equipment were up despite an industry decline, while sales of skid steers and loader backhoes were lower. In Europe, retail sales were somewhat lower than the industry. Loader backhoes and heavy equipment sales were relatively in line with industry results, while skid steers were lower. In Latin America, CNH, driven primarily by loader backhoes, exceeded the industry's double-digit sales growth. In other markets around the world, CNH retail sales were up substantially, far exceeding the industry.
CNH Capital, the financial services unit of CNH Global, reported net income of $12 million for the third quarter of 2000, compared to $32 million for the same period last year, on a pro forma basis. Net income for the first nine months was $39 million, compared to $92 million in the comparable period last year, on a pro forma basis. The year-over-year decrease in net income is primarily attributable to higher loan loss provisions in its core equipment and diversified portfolios, as well as higher integration costs, lower margins on receivables and lower gains on asset-backed securitizations resulting from interest rate increases in the first half of the year.
Sustained weakness in the farm economy continues to put pressure on the large agricultural equipment segment of the business. During the quarter, CNH Capital increased its loan loss provisions in North America and Australia due to the prolonged weakness in this sector.
CNH Capital's managed portfolio increased to $11.5 billion, up more than 8 percent as compared to the prior year, on a combined basis. The company's geographic expansion and diversification initiatives accounted for a portion of this growth, along with the transfer of CNH U.S. wholesale receivables to CNH Capital's managed portfolio in the second quarter of this year.
CNH Capital continues to execute its growth strategy. In September, the company received a bank license in Ireland, which will enable CNH Capital to operate as a wholly owned pan-European financing organization. Plans include opening branch offices in the company's major markets throughout Western Europe during 2001.
"We're committed to leveraging our strength as one of the world's largest equipment finance businesses to ensure that financing is available for customers in all regions of the world, despite significant market pressures in our core business," stated Ted R. French, chairman, CNH Capital. "Our decision to establish wholly owned pan-European financing operations is a major commitment to our dealers and customers throughout the region. Our bank license gives us the control and flexibility we need to expand the geographic scope of our business and the breadth of our product offerings."
The outlook for CNH's agricultural equipment market is heavily impacted by continued low commodity prices. Projections for the 2000 harvest are slightly lower than that of 1999 on a global basis, but significantly higher than last year in North America. As a result, global grain stock levels are not expected to significantly decrease from last year, placing continued pressure on commodity prices. In addition, CNH's sales have been impacted by customer and dealer uncertainty regarding the availability of products that the company agreed to divest as conditions for regulatory approval of the business merger of New Holland and Case Corporation. And, in some instances, customer anticipation of new product models also has delayed purchases. In addition to these demand factors, market conditions have made it increasingly difficult for the company to realize planned pricing increases this year. The impact of these conditions has been particularly strong in North America. The company expects these conditions to continue for the balance of the year. In its other markets around the world, the company expects industry sales to be moderately lower than 1999.
In its construction equipment business, the company expects slightly lower industry sales in North America, compared to the strong levels of last year, due to the impact of higher interest rates on construction activity. The company now expects overall construction activity in North America to be slightly lower for the balance of 2000 and into 2001, particularly in the housing sector. In Europe, the sales outlook remains slightly higher than last year due to stronger market conditions. In Latin America and other markets around the world, the company continues to expect significant sales improvement, compared to relatively low 1999 levels, as a result of more stable economic conditions. The gains in Europe, Latin America and the rest of the world are now expected to slightly offset the anticipated decline in North America.
With strong global brands, CNH is a leader in the agricultural equipment, construction equipment and financial services industries and had combined 1999 revenues of approximately $11 billion. CNH sells its products in 160 markets through a network of more than 10,000 dealers and distributors. CNH products are sold under the following brands: Case, Case IH, Fermec, Fiatallis, Fiat-Hitachi, Link-Belt earth-moving equipment, New Holland, New Holland Construction, O&K and Steyr.
On October 11, CNH announced the departure of two members of its Board of Directors. An Extraordinary General Meeting of the Shareholders will be held at the offices of the Company in the World Trade Center Amsterdam Airport, 10th Floor, Tower B, Schiphol Boulevard 217, 1118 BH Schiphol Airport, The Netherlands, on Wednesday, November 8, 2000 at 10:00 a.m. (Amsterdam time) for the purpose of appointing a new director. In accordance with Dutch law, only persons who are registered shareholders on the day of the meeting or persons who, on the day of the meeting, are permitted by law to attend or their proxy holders are entitled to attend and may only vote shares held of record on the day of the meeting.
On October 20, CNH announced a reorganization of its manufacturing operations in Latin America as part of the company's continued consolidation of its global industrial organization. These actions follow previously announced consolidation plans in North America and parts of Europe. The consolidation will further improve the company's competitive position as one of the world's largest equipment manufacturers.
CNH management will hold a conference call later today to review its third quarter results. The conference call will begin at approximately 9:00 am U.S. CDT. Those who would like to access this call can do so by dialing 800-289-0518 or 913-981-5532 in the U.S. and Canada, 0800-028-7957 in the U.K. and 113-383-0462 in continental Europe. Callers are encouraged to be on line 15 minutes prior to the call.