Monday, January 13, 2014

Continental AG Predicts 2014 Sales Gain on Auto Industry

Continental AG (CON), Europe's second-largest auto parts maker, plans a fifth consecutive year of record sales after deliveries of parking-assistance and braking electronics helped revenue rise 1.7 percent in 2013.

Sales this year will increase 5 percent to 35 billion euros ($47.8 billion), Hanover, Germany-based Continental said today in a statement. Full-year 2013 sales advanced to 33.3 billion euros, missing the manufacturer's 33.5 billion-euro forecast. Adjusted earnings before interest and taxes in 2013 totaled 3.7 billion euros.

"We were able to more than offset the economic limitations in Southern Europe and some emerging markets," Chief Executive Officer Elmar Degenhart said in the statement. "We want to grow faster than the global passenger car market" in 2014, when production is forecast to expand 2.4 percent to 85 million vehicles.

Continental, also Europe's second-largest tiremaker, has focused Discount developing components that help automakers reduce vehicle emissions, increase auto safety and enable communication links. The manufacturer was able to partly bypass effects of an industrywide slump in Europe by following German customers Volkswagen AG, Bayerische Motoren Werke AG and Daimler AG into growing markets such as China and the U.S.

The component maker reduced its 2013 revenue forecast on Nov. 7 from an earlier prediction of 34 billion euros in sales, citing currency effects. The dollar fell 4.3 percent against the euro last year, and the yen declined 21 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Exchange-rate moves reduced sales by 700 million euros, Continental said today.

Adjusted Ebit in 2012 amounted to 3.52 billion euros. Figures in 2013 were reported under new accounting rules.

Continental's figures released today didn't include debt. Fitch Ratings and Moody's Investors Service raised Continental's debt to investment grade after borrowings stemming from the takeover of the former Siemens AG car-electronics unit VDO in 2007 were scaled back. Continental is scheduled to report detailed earnings figures on March 6.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dorothee Tschampa in Frankfurt at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chad Thomas at

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