July 19, 2018 3:15 PM, EDT

Brake Supplier Haldex Rides Market Strength to Higher Earnings

Haldex boxes at a factoryHaldex Group

Commercial vehicle brake supplier Haldex AB reported net income more than quadrupled as revenue rose 16% in the second quarter amid market strength in all of its geographic regions.

The development in a number of product areas continued to be strong, including brake adjusters, disc brakes and actuators, according to the Landskrona, Sweden-based company, which reports in Swiss krona. However, large investments in research and development increased costs to meet production increases in China had a negative impact on income.

Net income for the period ended June 30 hit $6.88 million, or 15 cents per share, compared with $1.13 million, or 2.5 cents a year earlier.

Revenue rose to $154.8 million compared with $133.6 million. In the quarter, expansion in China accounted for $11.2 million of the overall total revenue — amid a mandate there requiring automatic brake adjusters on new heavy-duty trucks.

In North America, “It is clear that the disc brake is on the agenda for OEMs, distributors and fleets,” Haldex CEO Åke Bengtsson said in a statement.

“The knowledge about disc brakes in terms of maintenance and related costs is still being built up in the different customer groups, but it is no longer discussed whether a change will take place, but when it will happen,” he said.

At the same time, the company has presented a solution that improves the driving qualities in self-driving vehicles and reduces the braking distance when combined with existing brake technology.

“This solution has generated considerable interest from several customers, and development contracts are under discussion,” Bengtsson said.

In the meantime, he acknowledged Haldex is still suffering from the effects from previous quality issues. “Returning business is challenging if the customer is satisfied with his new supplier and it will take time to get back to previous levels of these products.”