Continental is expecting sales to jump 5 percent in 2014 to EUR35 billion ($47.8 billion) – its fifth straight year of record sales -- after deliveries of parking-assistance and braking electronics boosted its revenues by 2 percent in 2013. The German supplier posted EUR33.3 billion in revenues in 2013. Its adjusted earnings before interest and taxes were EUR3.7 billion or 11.2 percent of sales.
Continental has concentrated on developing components that help carmakers cut vehicle emissions, hike auto safety and allow communication links. Continental managed to partly offset effects of an industrywide slump in Europe by following German customers Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler into growing markets like China and the United States. "Continental has had a good year behind it, and the perspective for 2014 is right," Juergen Pieper, an analyst at Bankhaus Metzler, told Bloomberg by phone.
Pieper remarked that Continental is present in all areas growing at double-digit rates like assistance systems, electric and hybrid-engine parts and navigation. Continental trimmed its 2013 revenue forecast on Nov. 7 from EUR34 billion, citing currency effects. The dollar weakened 4.3 percent against the euro in 2013, and the yen dropped 21 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
According to the German supplier, exchange-rate movements slashed sales figures in 2013 by EUR700 million. The supplier seeks to "comfortably achieve a double-digit adjusted-Ebit margin" in 2014 as it expands faster than the auto industry's estimated 2-percent production growth to 85 million vehicles, chief executive Elmar Degenhart said in the statement.