Continental lifts 2015 earnings forecast following H1 ‘success’

All key financial figures headed in the right direction during the first half of this year, and therefore tyre maker and automotive industry supplier Continental AG has upwardly revised its adjusted EBIT margin and free cash flow forecast for the full year.

Total company sales increased 16.2 per cent year-on-year to €10.1 billion in the second quarter of 2015. Sales for the half-year to 30 June amounted to €19.6 billion, 14.7 per cent higher than a year earlier; the company’s Rubber Group accounted for €7.7 billion of this half-year figure, while the Automotive Group generated sales of €11.9 billion.

EBITDA for the second quarter was €1.6 billion, or 16.3 per cent of sales. This figure is 22.0 per cent higher than a year earlier and sees the EBITDA margin rise from 15.4 per cent. First half EBITDA came to €3.0 billion and 15.5 per cent of sales, up from €2.6 billion and 15.4 per cent of sales in the first six months of 2014. The Rubber Group improved its adjusted EBIT margin by 1.3 per cent year-on-year to 18.6 per cent, while the Automotive Group’s adjusted EBIT margin was higher than the previous year’s level of 8.4 per cent.

The company’s net income during the second quarter of 2015 amounted to €791.9 million, a figure that represents a 10.0 per cent year-on-year increase. Earnings per share came to €3.58. First half 2015 net income was €1.5 billion, 10.5 per cent more than a year earlier. Earnings per share amounted to €7.24.

In response to its positive half year results, Continental is raising its earnings forecast for the 2015 fiscal year. “We are aiming to achieve an adjusted EBIT margin of around 11 per cent for the year as a whole, after previously having anticipated a margin of more than 10.5 per cent. Based on the positive development in the first half of the year, we are also raising our forecast for free cash flow before acquisitions from at least €1.5 billion to at least €1.8 billion,” said Executive Board chairman Dr. Elmar Degenhart during the presentation of Continental’s first half figures on 4 August.

“We proved how strong we are in a challenging environment and followed up on the good first quarter of 2015 with further growth of 4.4 per cent before changes in the scope of consolidation and exchange rate effects in the second quarter,” added Degenhart. “This was also attributable to double-digit sales growth in Asia. Despite a slowdown in the growth rate of vehicle production in Asia, we anticipate stable business development in the remaining half of the year at the high level already achieved.”

Full information about Continental’s first half results can be found in our company profiles and reports section.

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