January 9, 2018 / 5:06 PM / a year ago

Continental sees higher 2018 sales after matching 2017 targets

BERLIN, Jan 9 (Reuters) - German automotive supplier Continental expects sales to keep growing this year on rising demand for electric and driver-assistance technologies, after matching targets in 2017.

Preliminary results at the company showed an increase in sales by around 8 percent last year to around 44 billion euros ($52.47 billion), the Hanover-based group said in a statement published on Tuesday after trading hours. Sales may keep rising to around 47 billion euros in 2018, it said.

The adjusted Ebit margin held steady at around 10.8 percent, beating a 2017 target of more than 10.5 percent, and is expected to ease to around 10.5 percent this year, Continental said.

“As expected, the fourth quarter of the past fiscal year saw solid sales and earnings,” finance chief Wolfgang Schaefer said, without being more specific. Full financial results are due for publication on March 8.

Results came amid speculation earlier on Tuesday that Continental could overhaul or even break up its business which drove the company’s shares to a record high. ($1 = 0.8386 euros) (Reporting by Andreas Cremer; Editing by Tom Sims)

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