HANOVER, Germany (May 30)—Continental A.G. management expects a "marked improvement" in earnings this year over 2001 and a modest increase in sales, despite the uncertain economy, Chairman Manfred Wennemer told shareholders at the company's May 29 annual meeting. Wennemer based the forecast—earnings back on par with the fiscal 2000 performance—in part on a steady increase in business for Conti's automotive systems business unit and the firm's refocused tire production capabilities in lower-cost plants in Czech Republic, Portugal and Slovakia. Wennemer also pointed to improved first-quarter results: a 16.5-percent rise in pre-tax earnings to $132.9 million as sales grew 6.1 percent to $2.45 billion.
Conti chairman sees ´marked´ earnings improvement this year
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