HANOVER, Germany — Continental A.G.'s tire sector reported increased pre-tax operating earnings for the quarter ended Sept. 30 despite lower sales volume and revenue.
Conti attributed the tire sector's improved earnings — up 6.8% to $492.4 million — to increased sales of higher-value premium tires and lower raw-materials costs. Revenue slid 5.4% to $3.73 billion, yielding a slightly better segment operating ratio of 13.2%.
Conti reported a 2% drop in replacement market consumer tire (passenger and light truck) unit sales volume during the quarter, although the trends were mixed by region. In North America, for example, sales were up 6%, while sales dropped in Europe (3%) and China (2%). OE sales volume was up 4% worldwide, led by a 9% gain in North America.
The commercial vehicle (CV) sector, by contrast, trailed the prior year markedly, including a 21% drop in North America.
As a result, Conti is projecting aftermarket consumer tire sales in North America for the full year will be flat to down 2%, while the CV aftermarket will be 17% to 19% below 2022.
For the nine months ended Sept. 30, Conti's tire business reported a 9.3% drop in pre-tax operating income of $2.04 billion on 0.5% higher sales of $11.3 billion. As a result, the operating ratio dropped two points to 18.1%.
For the full year, Conti is projecting the tire business will report sales of between $15.2 billion and $16.3 billion, with an operating margin of 12.5% to 13.5%, up slightly from previous forecasts.
Overall, Continental reported an adjusted third-quarter operating profit of $692 million (up 7.1%) on 1.5% lower sales revenue of $11.1 billion.