Company chairmen have lauded the increase in difficult times
Frankfurt – Arabstoday
Continental, the German maker of automotive parts and tyres, said it achieved record results in 2012 and expects its success to continue this year, AFP has reported
.\"In 2012, Continental set new records in a market environment that was difficult in part,\" the group said in a statement.
\"In 2012, we increased profits to just short of €1.9bn ($2.5bn), topping the previous year\'s level by more than 50 percent,\" boasted chief executive Elmar Degenhart.
\"At €9.42, we have very nearly double-digit earnings per share. What is more, we cut our net indebtedness by close to €1.5bn, bringing it down to a reasonable level\" of €5.3bn, Degenhart said.
The automotive supplier vowed that \"this success is set to continue in 2013. Despite muted market prospects, we are aiming to boost sales by 5.0 percent to more than €34bn.\"
In 2012, net profit zoomed ahead by 51.6 percent to €1.884bn and underlying or operating profit was up 18.3 percent at €3.073bn on a 7.3-percent increase in sales to €32.736bn.
Continental said it would propose an increased dividend of €2.25 per share for 2012, up from €1.50 euros per share a year earlier.
Degenhart said that Continental \"wants to use the strong financial basis to expand our position as one of the leading automotive suppliers, tyre manufacturers and industry partners.\"
\"With a record €25bn in customer orders last year...we look both to this year and the years beyond with confidence,\" he added.
Investors appeared to share that confidence and Continental shares were the third-biggest gainers on the Frankfurt stock exchange on Thursday, adding 2.99 percent while the overall blue-chip DAX 30 index was up just 0.31 percent.