Hanover, Germany – Continental has noted a 4% year-on-year decline in global production of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles in the fourth quarter of 2018.
The negative market trend “is likely to continue unchanged in the first half of 2019,” the group forecast in a 14 Jan preliminary financial statement.
The forecast reflects “continued weak demand in China, the trade dispute between the US and China, and… the switch to WLTP in Europe,” said CFO Wolfgang Schäfer, who also noted issues around Brexit.
But, helped by “slight market growth” in the second half, Schäfer said: “For fiscal 2019, we expect the production volume of cars and light commercial vehicle to be on a par with the previous year.”
Continental achieved sales growth for 2018 of about 1% year-on-year with consolidated sales of around €44.4 billion, its preliminary figures show.
The group’s adjusted EBIT margin came to about 9.2%, which is equivalent to adjusted operating earnings of around €4.1 billion.
In the fourth quarter, Continental’s sales of around €11.25 billion remained at prior-year levels.
Earnings (adjusted EBIT) was around €1.1 billion in the final quarter, representing a margin of about 9.7%.
Adjusted for changes in the scope of consolidation and exchange rates, Continental said its sales-growth was about 3% in the past fiscal year.