Continental gains vigor in 2010 and sets new records in sales and operating results
Frankfurt/Main and Hanover, Germany, The Continental Corporation gained new vigor in 2010 with record sales and operating results.
“With a sales increase of almost 30% to €26 billion in 2010, we clearly surpassed the targets we set at the beginning of the year. After a good start and in light of a production forecast of 75 million passenger cars worldwide, we are striving to increase sales another 10% to more than €28.5 billion this year,” said Continental CEO Dr. Elmar Degenhart on Thursday at the Annual Financial Press Conference in Frankfurt/Main.
“We want to achieve our 2010 adjusted sales margin of 9.7% again in 2011. We intend to give strong support to our ambitious growth path with investments of around €1.5 billion. Besides we already invested €1.3 billion in 2010. It is all the more remarkable that we noticeably decreased our net debts again to €7.3 billion at the same time”,stated Degenhart
We have, therefore, cut our net financial debts by more than €3 billion in just two years, and €1 billion of that is from the capital increase we implemented in January of 2010,” added Degenhart. “The ratio of net debt to equity is now 118% after 219% at the end of 2009 and could fall below the important 100% mark as early as the end of this year. This development is impressive proof of Continental's high level of performance.”
Degenhart noted that 2010 consolidated sales of €26.05 billion exceeded the figure of crisis year 2009 by almost €6 billion. “Our strong growth is also reflected in our increased employee numbers: Continental created roughly 14,000 jobs worldwide in 2010 and counted around 148,000 employees as of the end of the year,” said the CEO.
“Our great efforts have paid off. We grew at a faster rate than the recovering automotive markets, especially in the emerging Asian markets,” he added. Degenhart referred to the increase in the share of sales of Asia in the automotive business to 21%. Continental increased its sales in Asia at the corporate level by almost 50% to over €4 billion last year.
The corporation's adjusted EBIT (adjusted in particular for acquisition-related amortizations and special effects) amounts to approximately €2.5 billion, while the margin amounts to 9.7%. The EBIT of €1.9 billion is an absolute record and almost €3 billion better than in crisis year 2009. The return on sales amounts to 7.4% (-5.2% in the previous year).
Compared with 2009, the corporation's net income attributable to the shareholders increased by more than €2 billion to €576 million, corresponding to earnings per share of €2.88 after
-€9.76 one year ago. “Despite this positive development, we intend to propose to the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting on April 28, 2011 that no dividend be paid for fiscal year 2010,” said Degenhart.