HANOVER, Germany (March 31, 2005) — Continental A.G. reported record sales and earnings for last year, and management expects more of the same in 2005 as Conti integrates new acquisitions, raises investments and reduces debt.
For the year, Conti reported a 28.2-percent jump in operating earnings, to $1.36 billion, on 9.2-percent better sales of $15.6 billion, raising the earnings/sales ratio to 8.7 percent. The addition of Phoenix in November accounted to $200 million in new sales. Net income more than doubled to $390 million, or 2.5 percent of sales.
All the company's divisions contributed with improved operating earnings and better sales, with North American passenger/light truck tire business continuing to be the one problem area, despite higher unit sales. Conti expects that business to be at break-even or better by the fourth quarter.