July 23, 2019 / 6:01 AM / a month ago

French group Faurecia holds course in 'tougher than expected' auto market

PARIS, July 23 (Reuters) - French auto parts maker Faurecia maintained first-half profitability despite a China-led decline in auto production and the loss of seating contracts, the company said on Tuesday.

Net income rose 1% to 346 million euros ($387 million) as revenue dipped 0.2% to 8.972 billion, Faurecia said.

“The first half of the year was tougher than expected,” Chief Executive Patrick Koller said, citing “significantly lower production volumes” in China.

Sales fell 3.7% at the seating division, Faurecia’s largest, impacted by the end of supply contracts to PSA Group’s Citroen brand in Spain and Daimler in Alabama. PSA is Faurecia’s biggest shareholder with a 46.3% stake.

Faurecia’s first-half operating income edged down 0.4% to 644.8 million euros for an unchanged 7.2% operating margin. Its positive net cash flow rose 3.9% to 257 million.

The company reiterated 2019 guidance including a margin of 7% or more and net cash flow of at least 500 million, assuming a 4% decline in global auto production for the full year.

$1 = 0.8936 euros Reporting by Laurence Frost; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta

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