Continental AG posts record results for 2004

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Continental AG's operating results for 2004 topped 1 billion euros, a first in the company's 134-year history and a 28% increase over 2003 numbers.

Continental's 2004 sales totaled 12.5 billion euros versus 11.5 billion euros the year before.

The Hanover, Germany-based firm's post-tax consolidated net income rose 114% to 673.8 million euros in 2004.

Continental's Passenger and Light Truck Tires division achieved 4.1 billion euros in sales, a 5% increase from 2003 levels.

"We set a new record in 2004 with an increase of 12% in volumes sold to the global automotive industry," say Continental officials.

The company also improved its product mix and margins in North America but said its replacement tire sales volumes in the region declined.

"We should be achieving a turnaround in the fourth quarter of 2005 as planned."

Continental's Commercial Vehicle Tires unit experienced 11% growth in sales before consolidation and exchange rates.

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