The unit, which also includes Continental’s Tire division, was hit by higher raw-materials costs – particularly for natural and synthetic rubber – that reduced earnings by €300 million.
Continental executive board chairman Dr Elmar Degenhart expects the price increases to decline over the second half of the year. Overall, he anticipates a total negative impact of around €450 million as at the end of the year – €50 million less than forecast at the start of 2017.
The Rubber Group’s performance took the shine off a strong showing elsewhere at Continental, including a rise in order-intake at its Automotive Group to over €19.5 billion in first six months
The Automotive Group grew first-half sales by 9.8% to €13.4 billion while adjusted EBIT margin came in at 8.4%, compared to 8.0% a year ago.
And, while Continental's overall operating result was down slightly year-on-year at €2.3 billion, the German group has raised its sales forecast for the current fiscal year again on the basis of the half-year figures.