Johnson Controls embarks on ‘next era’

Glendale-based Johnson Controls Inc. today announced record fiscal fourth quarter net income and plans to explore strategic options for its Automotive Interiors business.

The company reported quarterly net income of $657 million, or 95 cents per share, up from $526 million, or 77 cents per share, in the same period a year ago.

Johnson Controls recorded quarterly net revenues of $11.0 billion, up from $10.4 billion a year earlier.

“While the macro-economic environment continues to be challenging, each of our businesses generated top line growth in the fourth quarter. Even more importantly, they all had significant improvements in profitability. It is particularly pleasing that our efforts to improve execution and control costs are gaining traction,” said Alex Molinaroli, Johnson Controls chief executive officer. “I would like to thank Steve Roell, who retired as CEO on September 30, for his many years of service to the company and our customers. Steve led Johnson Controls through some of the most difficult market and economic conditions in our history, and we will always appreciate his leadership and vision.

Roell will remain chairman of the company’s board of directors until Dec. 31.

Johnson Controls also announced its intention to explore strategic options to enhance the position and financial capacity of its Automotive Interiors business as part of the company’s previously stated intention to build its multi-industry portfolio. Revenues from the Interiors business totaled $4.2 billion in fiscal 2013, with a loss of $13 million. 

Johnson Controls noted that its Automotive Electronics segment results include the full-year profit contribution from the HomeLink business, which was sold on Sept.27. The company announced its intentions to sell its entire Automotive Electronics business earlier in 2013. An announcement regarding the sale of the remaining Electronics business is expected to be made by the end of the calendar year.

Johnson Controls today gave a preliminary outlook of its market and financial expectations for fiscal 2014, saying it believes improving end markets will enable the company to modestly grow revenues in the upcoming year.  For the first quarter of 2014, the company expects earnings to increase approximately 30 percent (35 percent adjusting for the impact of the HomeLink divestiture). Johnson Controls will provide full fiscal year 2014 guidance at its annual New York analyst day on Dec. 18. 

“We are at the beginning of the next era for Johnson Controls. We believe initiatives to improve the profitability of our businesses are gaining momentum and our markets are stabilizing,” said Molinaroli. “In the coming months, we will provide detail on how we plan to build on the strengths of Johnson Controls to improve our performance and drive higher levels of shareholder value. I believe our 2013 results shows that we have a strong foundation to build upon. I would also like to thank our 170,000 Johnson Controls employees across the globe for their contributions, delivering record 2013 sales and earnings.”

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