DETROIT — Adient, the automotive seating supplier in the midst of a multiyear turnaround plan, swung to a net profit during its first fiscal quarter as higher margins overcame a drop in revenue.
The company on Friday said it posted net income of $150 million during the quarter ending Dec. 31, compared with a net loss of $167 million during the same quarter a year ago. The previous year’s results included a one-time $216 million charge for impaired assets. Revenue during the quarter fell 2.2 percent to $3.8 billion.
Margins improved substantially in the Americas from 5.1 percent last year to 7.6 percent in the recent quarter. European margins rose from 3.1 percent to 7.1 percent.
The company said adjusted earnings in the Americas surged 40 percent to $132 million while revenue fell 6.5 percent to $1.7 billion. European earnings more than doubled to $114 million while revenue gained 2.5 percent to $1.6 billion.
The latest report shows the first black ink for Adient since the COVID-19 outbreak hit the U.S. last March. Most recently, the company reported a fiscal fourth-quarter net loss of $36 million and a total net loss of $547 million last year.
The improvements are a welcome sign for investors as Adient’s turnaround plan under CEO Doug Del Grosso shows progress. He was tasked in 2018 with turning the company around after several years of poor performance. Del Grosso has slashed employees, furloughed others and rid the company of unprofitable business.
“Adient’s unerring focus on our improvement plan resulted in a strong start to ’21, giving us a solid path to achieving our ’21 commitments and further positioning the company for sustained, longterm success,” Del Grosso said in a press release.
The company’s earnings presentation also reported progress on several recent and upcoming key product launches, including the new Ford F-150 truck, the Volkswagen ID3 and ID4 electric crossovers, the Jeep Wrangler 4XE SUV and the Mustang Mach-E electric sports car.
Shares in Adient rose 5.9 percent to $37.22 in early trading on Wall Street.
Adient, based in the Detroit suburb of Plymouth, Mich., ranks No. 12 on the Automotive News list of the 100 largest global auto suppliers with worldwide sales to automakers of $16.5 billion in 2019.
Dustin Walsh of Crain’s Detroit Business and Philip Nussel of Automotive News contributed to this report.