Continental: Q1 2018 sales up slightly despite exchange rate effects

Key data pertaining to first quarter performance were presented at the Continental Annual Shareholders’ Meeting today ahead of the release of complete Q1 2018 figures on 8 May.

The tyre maker and technology company achieved consolidated sales of 11.0 billion euros in the three months to 31 March 2018, a slight year-on-year increase in spite of negative exchange rate effects amounting to 546 million euros. The result was helped by organic sales growth of 4.3 per cent. The company’s adjusted operating result (adjusted EBIT) for the quarter was approximately 1.1 billion euros, corresponding to an adjusted EBIT margin of 9.7 per cent; the result was impacted by exchange-rate effects and was thus about 100 million euros lower than in the first quarter of 2017. Continental expects an adjusted EBIT margin of over ten per cent for the year as a whole.

“As expected, we have started off the new business year with solid growth. This was substantiated by our strong organic growth of 4.3 per cent. It was once again considerably higher than the growth of the relevant markets, which declined during the same period. It demonstrates our substantial operational strength, with which we can resolutely assert ourselves in such a challenging environment like the one we experienced in the first quarter,” shared Dr Elmar Degenhart, chief executive officer of Continental, while presenting first quarter 2018 key data at the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting.

Global vehicle production and the replacement market for passenger tyres were both down one per cent year-on-year in the reporting period. In this weak market environment, Continental’s Automotive Group achieved organic growth of 5.5 per cent, once again outpacing global light vehicle production by roughly seven percentage points.

For the current fiscal year, Continental believes that negative exchange-rate effects totalling more than 1 billion euros may impact sales, should current exchange rates represent the average for 2018 overall.

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