Continental posts sales gain during first nine months

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Continental AG achieved sales of 19.1 billion euros during the first nine months of 2008 versus sales of 11.9 billion euros during the same period last year.

Continental is aiming for full-year 2008 sales of 25 billion euros as it continues efforts to reduce its debt.

The company's consolidated EBIT "before amortization of intangible assets... was up in the first nine months of 2008 compared with the same period of last year by 138.3 million euros, or 10.2%," to nearly 1.5 billion euros, say Continental officials.

While Continental is on track to reach its sales target for the year, "the fourth quarter, however, holds uncertainties due to the declining economy.

"In response to the substantial deterioration in the market situation, the company has initiated an extensive cost-saving program in addition to ongoing restructuring projects."

According to Continental Chairman Karl-Thomas Neumann, the "weak market situation" in the first half of 2008 "was compensated by the favorable economic conditions in Europe and Asia.

"In the last quarter, however, there were drastic signs of slowing in all markets, whereby the dramatic declines in Europe in particular have negatively affected us. This trend will probably become even stronger, continuing far into 2009."

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