FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, Germany, March 30 German
engineering company and auto supplier ZF said it
expects to achieve an adjusted operating margin of more than 6
percent and group sales of 36 billion euros ($38.65 billion)
this year as it absorbs the acquisition of rival TRW.
ZF bought United States based auto supplier rival TRW in
2015, for $13.5 billion, boosting the Friedrichshafen,
Germany-based company's sales and profits.
Last year, unlisted ZF's adjusted earnings before interest
and taxes (EBIT) rose 20 percent to 2.2 billion euros and group
sales rose 21 percent to 35.2 billion euros, corresponding to an
EBIT margin of 6.4 percent.
ZF said the company's performance was mainly due to "better
operating performance and synergies leveraged by integrating
ZF was able to reduce its debt load by roughly 1.6 billion
euros to 8.26 billion euros, thanks to a strong free cash flow
of more than 2 billion euros, and further debt reduction remains
a central target for 2017.
ZF on Thursday said it had bought a 45 percent stake in
radar technology company Astyx.
($1 = 0.9314 euros)
(Reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by Harro ten Wolde)