Germany's Continental returns to profit

3rd March 2011, Comments 0 comments

German auto parts group Continental said Thursday that it returned to profit last year and gave an upbeat outlook for 2011 despite the rising cost of raw materials.

Continental posted a net profit of 576 million euros ($798 million) for 2010, compared with a net loss of 1.65 billion euros in 2009r.

The company "gained new vigour in 2010 with record sales and operating results," a statement said.

Sales climbed to 26 billion euros from 20 billion euros in 2009, owing to a strong boost in the fourth quarter, but the group said it would not pay a dividend for the second consecutive year.

Continental is a major supplier of tyres and other parts to automakers that have benefitted from a boom in Asian sales.

For 2011, it gave an optimistic outlook, forecasting a 10 percent increase in sales to 28.5 billion euros.

Chief executive Elmar Degenhart nonetheless noted that rising rubber prices would cost Continental "more than 700 million euros gross in additional raw materials expenses."

Shares in the group showed a loss of 1.95 percent to 60.42 euros in morning trading on the Frankfurt stock exchange, while the MDAX index on which they are listed was up 0.37 percent overall.

© 2011 AFP

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