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Global recession? Pish posh, says Bosch

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The Bosch Group says it has exceeded its growth target in 2011. According to preliminary figures, the technology and services company generated sales revenue of 51.4 billion euros last year -- an 8.8% increase compared to 2010.

Based on the exchange rate on Dec. 31, 2011, Bosch recorded sales of $66.5 billion in fiscal 2011.

"We were able to grow strongly in our anniversary year, and this despite such portentous events as the sovereign-debt and euro crises and the natural disaster in Japan, with its dramatic consequences," says Franz Fehrenbach, chairman of the board of management.

As a result of special burdens, the pre-tax result was roughly 5% of sales, which fell short of the target corridor of between 7% and 8%. The burdens included:

* the rise in the cost of materials;

* the company's considerable upfront investments in areas of future business such as electromobility and renewable energy; and

* a downward revaluation of assets in the Solar Energy Division.

In 2011, Bosch Group sales increased in all the world's major economic regions. In the Americas, it increased by 7% to more than $11.6 billion.

For 2012, Bosch expects the global economy to further weaken, but does not expect any global recession. Following an estimated 3.2% global economic growth in 2011, the company predicts growth of some 2.5% in 2012.

"Whether we see stagnation or even a recession (in Europe) depends largely on how rigorously and quickly the necessary reforms are carried out in the euro zone," says Fehrenbach. Given these circumstances, the Bosch Group expects to see sales growth of between 3% and 5%, with "strong stimuli" coming from the Asia Pacific region.

The company sees further growth opportunities in the Americas as well.

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