July 17, 2020 / 10:17 AM / a month ago

Autoliv slumps to loss but eyes recovery from lockdown trough

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Sweden’s Autoliv (ALIVsdb.ST) (ALV.N), the world’s largest producer of airbags, said on Friday it was seeing signs of recovery after running a deeper-than-expected quarterly loss as lockdowns due to the pandemic slammed car production and demand.

The company, which moved quickly to slash spending and boost its cash position as auto production in Europe and North America ground to a halt early in the second quarter, said it would continue to cut costs to adapt to the situation.

But the company, which competes with ZF TRW as well as Joyson Safety Systems, also said it had seen a recovery taking hold from the middle of the quarter.

“We must balance the cost reduction responses against the need for capacity to manage the recovery that started mid-quarter and continues in the first weeks of July,” CEO Mikael Bratt said in a statement.

“I am also pleased that order intake for the first half year was in line with last year,” he added.

The group still reported a second-quarter operating loss of $234 million compared with a $170 million profit in the year-ago quarter, well below of a mean forecast for a $133 million loss based on a poll of analysts published by the company.

Autoliv, whose Swedish-listed shares eased 2.2% at 1043 GMT, said its adjusted operating loss was $171 million in the quarter.

Reporting by Johannes Hellstrom; editing by Niklas Pollard

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