Stellantis unveiled a share buyback of as a lot as 1.5 billion euros ($1.6 billion) following Mercedes-Benz and BMW in returning money to shareholders after sturdy 2022 outcomes on the again of excessive car costs and pent-up demand.

Stellantis expects one other yr of double-digit returns as car worth will increase gradual, chip shortages ease and manufacturing picks up, the automaker mentioned Wednesday.

The corporate’s working return rose to 13 % final yr, beating analysts’ expectations.

“Value will increase have been substantial in 2022 and they are going to be decrease in 2023,” Chief Monetary Officer Richard Palmer mentioned on a name with reporters. “The problem for 2023 is to offset inflation with pricing, but additionally with an enchancment within the industrial effectivity.”

The group, shaped from the merger of Fiat Chrysler and PSA Group, pays a dividend of 1.34 euros a share, up from 1.04 euros the earlier yr. The buyback will run by way of the top of the yr. 

Returns in the course of the second half of 2022 declined in comparison with the primary half due to the supply-chain snarls. Working margin was 12 % within the second half, down from 14.1 % within the first six months. Adjusted earnings earlier than curiosity and tax have been 10.95 billion euros within the July to December interval.

Industrial free money flows topped 10.8 billion euros final yr.

Stellantis mentioned all of its areas have been rising and delivering report profitability, together with Europe.

The automaker mentioned on Wednesday that it’s going to distribute a report quantity of two billion euros to its international staff, 200 million euros greater than in 2021.

Within the U.S., Stellantis will distribute $14,760 every to eligible UAW-represented employees as a part of a profit-sharing plan. About 40,500 employees are eligible for the bonus, with precise payouts relying on particular person compensated hours. The payout is up barely from the 2021 fiscal yr, when about 43,000 employees acquired $14,670 every.

Bumper money synergies

Stellantis mentioned it had achieved money synergies of seven.1 billion euros final yr, far exceeding upfront the 5 billion-euro goal by 2024 it set on the time of the merger.

“This speaks to the quick conversion and execution of the workforce inside Stellantis group,” Palmer mentioned.

Outcomes have been additionally helped by good development in international gross sales of electrical autos, pricing energy and a optimistic alternate charge impact linked to a robust U.S. greenback, Palmer mentioned, “regardless of numerous challenges within the market, with semiconductors, logistics, uncooked supplies, power and inflation.”

Elevated industrial prices had an general influence on the group’s outcomes final yr of over 9 billion euros.

Car deliveries fell 2 % final yr, primarily resulting from semiconductors and logistics constraints, particularly in Europe.

“Challenges proceed in securing capability for (car) outbound transportation (to clients),” Palmer mentioned. “Semiconductors proceed to be an issue, I do not suppose the state of affairs will likely be absolutely resolved in 2023,” he added.