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Continental achieves all-around gains during first quarter

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Continental AG's consolidated sales for the first quarter totaled 3.6 billion euros, an 11% increase over first quarter 2005 sales. Continental's operating results rose by 25.5% to 352.4 million euros during 1Q 2006, while its net income grew 33.4% to nearly 222 million euros.

On the downside, escalating raw material costs reduced Continental's EBIT by 50 million euros during the first quarter "compared with the average prices of 2005 as a whole," say Continental officials.

The German tiremaker plans to counteract rising raw material costs with product mix improvements, price hikes and "rationalization measures."

Continental's Passenger and Light Truck Tires division achieved sales of 1 billion euros during 1Q 2006, an 11% increase over the same period during 2005. The unit's operating results rose 18% over 1Q 2005 levels to 108 million euros.

Continental's Commercial Vehicle Tires division also recorded a sales increase, rising 12.9% to 346.2 million euros from 1Q 2005. The unit's operating results were 19.7 million euros, a 12.6% increase over the first quarter of 2005.

The company's Automotive Systems and ContiTech divisions also posted sales and operating result gains during 1Q 2006.

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