Continental Corp.'s sales grew by 3.6% in 2014, and the company is projecting a 5% increase in 2015 alongside an expected moderate growth of passenger car production, says Elmar Degenhart, chairman of the executive board.
In the 2014 fiscal year, Continental secured a margin exceeding 11% for its adjusted earnings before interest and tax (EBIT), despite the pronounced weakness of Europe's replacement tire market in the fourth quarter. Sales in 2014 grew in comparison with the previous year, reaching a figure of approximately 34.5 billion Euros. Exchange rate effects amounting to around 500 million Euros had a negative impact on sales.
"All in all, we systematically continued along our successful path last year despite the weak growth in Europe, Russia and South America," says Degenhart. "We achieved this in spite of the further uncertainty added to the already volatile market development as a result of considerable exchange rate fluctuations in some cases or, as seen recently, the drop in the price of oil. The adjusted EBIT exceeding 3.8 billion Euros is further proof of the outstanding performance achieved yet again by our more than 190,000 employees.
"For 2015, we expect global production figures for passenger cars with a gross vehicle weight rating up to 6 metric tons to increase moderately once again, rising from around 87 to roughly 89 million vehicles. We are therefore aiming for sales growth of around 5% to a figure exceeding 36 billion Euros. With this, we want to once again securely confirm our double-digit adjusted EBIT margin," adds Degenhart, noting the consolidation effects from the Veyance acquisition have not been taken into consideration in this outlook.
Degenhart made the comments Monday at the opening of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Continental will present its preliminary business figures on March 5, 2015, during its first entirely digital financial press conference.
For Continental financial reports, visit www.continental-ir.de.