Continental posts first half sales gains
Continental AG achieved sales of 13.2 billion euros during the first six months of the year, more than $5 billion above its first half 2007 sales.
Continental's EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization) for the first half of 2008 was 1.1 billion euros, a 271 million euro increase over the same period last year.
"Following a solid start in the first quarter and an impressive second quarter, we are expecting to post sales exceeding 26.4 billion euros (for the full year) as planned," says Continental Chairman Manfred Wennemer.
However, he notes, "that target will be more difficult to achieve, especially in light of the significant cuts in production in the United States."
Debt reduction will remain Continental's top objective for 2008. "We are confident that we will be able to reduce the level of debt this year substantially. A help here will be strong free cash slow, whcih at 469.5 million euros in the second quarter of 2008 alone is much higher than the value for the same period last year."
Wennemer adds that the EBITDA for Continental's tire divisions would have been higher had the company not been faced with an 84 million euros increase in the price of raw materials.
On the bright side, Continental's Passenger and Light Truck Tires unit "was able to post a double digit improvement in sales in the Americas despite the weak market."