Continental Keeps Its 2013 Target Even if Demand Dropped image

Continental keeps its 2013 target even if auto market in Europe falls in the first quarter more than analysts’ forecasts.

Europe’s second- largest maker of auto parts and tiremaker reiterated today, March 7th, its plan to increase sales by 5% this year and report adjusted earnings before interest and taxes above 10% of revenue. The company’s shares increased 5% to their highest level over the last five years. Until now, Continental managed to avoid the effects of the crisis in Europe by following VW and other German automakers into the US and China. The tiremaker predicts that the revenue during the first-quarter will fall 1% to 3% as the auto production will drop 12%.

“This year, the downturn in the first quarter cannot be offset by growth in other regions,” Chief Executive Officer Elmar Degenhart said in the text of a speech today. “For the remainder of the year, we expect a pick up in consolidated sales, particularly in the latter half of 2013.”

The company announced that adjusted earnings for 2012 increased 16% to 3.52 billion euro and 5.9% during the fourth-quarter to 861 million euro. Sales last year increased 7.3% to 32.7 billion euro.