August 5, 2019 / 10:35 PM / 4 months ago

Bosch sees sales stagnating in 2019 -CEO in Sueddeutsche Zeitung

FILE PHOTO: Volkmar Denner, Chairman of the Board of Management of BOSCH, looks on during a news conference before the official opening ceremony of the company's new center for research and advance engineering Campus Renningen in Renningen, Germany, October 14, 2015. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Automotive supplier Bosch expects sales to stagnate this year, its chief executive told a German newspaper, blaming the worsening outlook in the car industry that has also hurt the company’s rivals.

In May, the group had forecast sales to rise slightly from the 78.5 billion euros (£72.4 billion) generated in 2018. In an interview with Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Bosch Chief Executive Officer Volkmar Denner said that the group would also not be able to keep 2018’s margin level.

Last year, Bosch’s operating margin stood at 7.0%.

“Our plans foresee a stagnation in vehicle production in the coming years, which is different from the past, when it was usually going up. The tailwind is gone,” Denner was quoted as saying, adding jobs would have to be cut.

“There will be consequences for our employees, above all in the diesel plants,” Denner said, without being more specific. He said the group would do everything to carry out staff reduction in a socially responsible manner.

Weakness in the car industry has already led Bosch’s rivals ZF Friedrichshafen [ZFF.UL] and Continental (CONG.DE) to issue profit warnings.

($1 = 0.8933 euros)

Reporting by Christoph Steitz; editing by Grant McCool

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