German automotive parts specialist Bosch said Wednesday it exceeded its growth targets for 2011, clocking up its strongest sales growth in more than 10 years. \"We exceeded our growth target in 2011,\" chief executive Franz Fehrenbach said in a statement. \"We were able to grow strongly in our anniversary year, and this despite such portentous events as the sovereign-debt and euro crises and the natural disaster in Japan, with its dramatic consequences,\" he said. According to preliminary figures, Bosch lifted sales by 8.8 percent to 51.4 billion euros ($66.9 billion), \"one of the highest rates of growth since 2000.\" In terms of earnings, pre-tax profit \"fell short of target\" and amounted to \"roughly 5.0 percent of sales\" due to what Bosch termed \"special burdens\" such as rising material costs, upfront investment in new technologies and writedowns on its solar energy division. Nevertheless, \"we are largely satisfied with our result. Without these special burdens, we would have been within our target corridor\" of 7.0-8.0 percent of sales, Fehrenbach said. Looking ahead, Bosch said it expected to growth further in the current year. \"Whether we see stagnation or even a recession depends largely on how rigorously and quickly the necessary reforms are carried out in the eurozone,\" chief executive Fehrenbach said. From the current standpoint, Bosch was pencilling in sales growth \"of between 3.0-5.0 percent,\" with growth driven primarily by business in the Asia Pacific and America regions.