February 14, 2018 / 6:32 AM / 6 days ago

BRIEF-Haldex Q4 core profit rises, sees flat or slightly lower margin in 2018

Feb 14 (Reuters) - Haldex AB:

* HALDEX ANNUAL STATEMENT, JANUARY - DECEMBER 2017: STRONG END TO THE YEAR

* Q4 NET SALES, SEK 1,049 MLN VS YR-AGO 1,054 MLN

* Q4 OPERATING INCOME, EXCLUDING ONE-OFF ITEMS, SEK 66 MLN VS YR-AGO 48 MLN

* SAYS BOARD OF DIRECTORS PROPOSES TO ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING A DIVIDEND OF SEK 0.55 PER SHARE VS YR-AGO 0 SEK

* SAYS DUE TO FORTHCOMING TECHNOLOGY SHIFT, WE, LIKE MANY OF OUR CUSTOMERS, WILL BE PRIORITISING INVESTMENTS IN RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT OVER NEXT FEW YEARS

* SAYS WE ARE RECEIVING POSITIVE SIGNALS FROM A NUMBER OF MARKETS

* SAYS IN CHINA, WE ARE EXPECTING STRONG GROWTH DUE TO CHANGE IN LAW REGARDING BRAKE ADJUSTERS, BUT THIS GROWTH WILL BE AT LOWER MARGINS THAN WHAT WE ARE SEEING IN WESTERN WORLD

* SAYS IN EUROPE, WE HAVE A STRONG POSITION ON A STABLE MARKET

* SAYS THIS MEANS THAT, AS A WHOLE, WE BELIEVE THAT NET SALES FOR 2018 WILL INCREASE COMPARED TO 2017

* SAYS HIGHER SALES ENABLE HIGHER OPERATING INCOME

* SAYS HIGHER SALES WILL BE OFF-SET AGAINST GREATER INVESTMENT IN DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS AND COSTS FOR EXPANSION IN NORTH AMERICA AND CHINA

* SAYS OPERATING MARGIN FOR 2018 IS EXPECTED TO BE SLIGHTLY LOWER OR IN LINE WITH OPERATING MARGIN EXCLUDING ONE-OFF ITEMS IN 2017 Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage: (Reporting By Niklas Pollard)

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