HANOVER, Germany (Aug. 12)—Continental A.G. anticipates 2004 operating earnings and sales will exceed the 2003 fiscal performance, despite having to take up to $144 million in charges against earnings to cover the costs of phasing out tire production at its Mayfield, Ky., plant.
For the period ended June 30, Continental's operating earnings climbed 21 percent to $594.4 million on 9-percent better sales of $6.93 billion, pushing the earnings/sales ratio up nearly a point to 7.9 percent.
Sales of passenger and light truck tires grew 8.3 percent during the six-month period to $2.36 billion despite declining sales in North America. Globally, original equipment sales were up 14 percent, Conti said.
Despite a $121 million charge against earnings taken to cover the phase-out of production at Mayfield, the passenger/light truck tire division reported a slight gain in operating earnings, up 1.2 percent to $148.1 million.