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Continental sold $13 billion in tires in 2014

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Continental Corp. posted net income of nearly 2.4 billion euros on net sales of 34.5 billion euros for its fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2014. That compares to income of 1.9 billion euros on sales of 33.3 billion euros for fiscal 2013.

Based on the average exchange rate for 2014, Continental recorded net income of more than $3.1 on net sales of $45.8 billion for fiscal 2014. Its income-to-sales ratio was 6.8%.

Operating income was up 2.5%, from more than 3.2 billion euros to more than 3.3 billion euros.

Here is a financial breakdown, in billions of euros, of Continental's Automotive Group and Rubber Group (with the 2013 results in parentheses):

Segment       Operating income   Net sales

Automotive    1.19 (1.16)                 20.9 (20.0)            

Rubber          2.26 (2.21)                 13.6 (13.3)

Net sales for the Tire Division was 9.8 billion euros ($13 billion), up 2.1% compared to fiscal 2013. Operating income was 1.83 billion euros ($2.4 billion), a 4.3% increase.

"We are pleased to look back at another extremely successful financial year 2014, during which we achieved our targets," said Chairman Dr. Elmar Degenhart, at the presentation of the preliminary business figures in Hanover, Germany, on Thursday. 

'When evaluating the results, we should not forget the fact that there was, in some cases, very weak growth in Europe, Russia and South America. There were also significant exchange rate fluctuations. In addition, the mild winter at the end of 2014 had a negative impact on the winter tire business in Europe.

"The driving force behind the sales development once again came from China and North America," said Degenhart. "In light of this, it is remarkable that profit after taxes of just under 2.4 billion euros or 11.88 euros per share could be achieved. On this basis, we intend to increase the dividend for the third time in a row. We are proposing a distribution of 3.25 euro per share, corresponding to a dividend payout ratio of 27.4%, which is up slightly on the previous year's level."

For fiscal 2015, Continental Corp. aims to achieve a rise in total sales of almost 9% to 37.5 billion euros. Its sales target for fiscal 2020 is more than $50 billion euros.

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