ERJ staff report (TB)
Hanover, Germany -- In the first nine months of this year, Continental increased its sales by 9.1 percent year-on-year to Euro 24.6 billion. Earnings (EBIT) rose by 22.8 percent to Euro 2.4 billion in the same period. The margin amounted to 9.6 percent, compared to 8.5 percent the year before.
Adjusted EBIT by 19.5 percent year-on-year to almost Euro 2.7 billion in the first nine months of this year, equivalent to 10.9 percent of adjusted sales after 9.9 percent in the same period of the previous year.
In the first three quarters of this year, Continental invested Euro 1.3 billion, approximately Euro 240 million more than in the same period of the previous year. "Our investments are currently focused clearly on the Rubber Group: In the first nine months of this year, we invested Euro 641 million in the Tire and ContiTech divisions in order to further reduce our dependence on the highly seasonal automotive industry while also continuing to expand our position in the tyre markets, particularly in the BRIC countries," said Wolfgang SchÃ¤fer, chief financial officer.
Sales in the Automotive Group improved to Euro 14.8 billion after nine months, with an adjusted margin of 7.7 percent after 8.0 percent in the previous year. "This is a stable result in view of the headwind in Europe, which we are experiencing here in our Powertrain division in particular. We do not expect the market environment to become easier in the coming quarters," commented Dr Elmar Degenhart, chairman of the executive board of Continental.
The Rubber Group generated sales of Euro 9.9 billion. The positive development of raw material costs had a favorable influence on the adjusted margin (16.3 percent).
"In spite of a weak development of the winter tyre markets at the start of the season, we are confident of re-achieving the previous year's level of approximately 20 million winter tyres sold in the current year as well. The recently published test reports have brought about a very positive response to our tyres and give us grounds to be positive in this respect," explained Degenhart.
He confirmed the forecast for 2012, which is that consolidated sales will increase by more than 7 percent to more than Euro 32.5 billion for fiscal 2012.
"After the positive overall development in the first three quarters, the start to the fourth quarter of 2012 has not given us any additional major cause for concern. Our current information indicates that consolidated sales from October to December are likely to be at least as high as in the third quarter of this year", Degenhart noted, adding that the company must keep an eye on the markets.
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News release from Continental