February 17, 2020 / 6:19 AM / a month ago

Car parts group Faurecia 2019 profits rise, sees challenging market in 2020

FILE PHOTO: An illustration shows a car dashboard with a giant screen on the side of the Faurecia booth during the 2019 CES in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. January 8, 2019. REUTERS/Steve Marcus/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - French car parts group Faurecia (EPED.PA) reported a rise in annual profits and sales, and added it was targeting further growth for 2020 even though market conditions would be challenging this year.

Faurecia, which bought Japanese peer Clarion last year, said annual operating income for 2019 had risen by 0.7% from the previous year to 1.283 billion euros ($1.4 billion).

Sales rose 1.4% to 17.77 billion euros and Faurecia’s operating margin stood at 7.2%, while its net cash flow rose 11.2% from last year to 587 million euros.

The company also raised its 2020 dividend to 1.30 euros from 1.25 euros in 2019.

For 2020, Faurecia said it was targeting more sales growth and a further improvement in profitability, with a target of achieving an operating margin of above 7.2% of sales and net cash flow of above 500 million euros.

Last November, Faurecia said it was targeting reaching sales of more than 20.5 billion euros by 2022.

Faurecia’s 2020 outlook was based on the assumption that worldwide automotive production would fall by 3% compared to 2019, although the company added this outlook did not factor in any hits to the global supply chain from the coronavirus.

“2020 should be another challenging year in terms of market conditions. We expect, at this stage, a drop of about 3% in worldwide automotive production,” said CEO Patrick Koller.

“We have the appropriate plans in place to improve our performance. We will remain focused on resilience and cash generation. Our guidance is fully aligned with our medium-term vision and ambitions presented last November at our Capital Markets Day,” added Koller.

Reporting by Gilles Guillaume; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta

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