Auto Electronics

Continental affirms ’08 targets

With sales and results for the first two months of 2008 that “far exceeded” forecasts, Continental AG said it expects to remain on track for the year. Its targets include overall sales of more than €26.4 billion, and a consolidated earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) margin of 9.3% before amortization from the purchase price allocation and before integration and restructuring expenses.

Continental chief executive officer Manfred Wennemer said the firm will “assign the very highest priority to cutting away at our debt.”

Synergy effects from the Siemens VDO acquisition amount to more than €300 million as of 2010. “We plan to undertake certain restructuring measures. This will affect the Powertrain division in particular, in which we have pinpointed considerable optimization potential,” Wennemer said. “In absolute terms the restructuring requirement is well within the framework established. As expected, integration and restructuring costs for 2008 and 2009 will, in their entirety, remain in the lower three-digit million range."

Wennemer added, “The more the price of oil and fuel rises, the better the sales outlook is for ultra-efficient injection technologies, turbo­charger or hybrid systems."

He said there is no basis for the current speculation about an alleged reopening of negotiations on the Siemens VDO transaction.

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