HANOVER, Germany (Aug. 4) — Continental A.G.´s earnings rose for the first half despite higher raw material costs and a sluggish global automotive industry.
Conti´s pretax operating earnings improved 17.1 percent to $886.8 million and sales rose 6.2 percent to $8.88 billion for the six-month period ended June 30.
Conti´s car/light truck and truck tire divisions both suffered earnings declines during the period as the cost of raw materials — particularly natural rubber and oil — increased by nearly $195 million from a year earlier, Conti said. The firm´s earnings also were affected by $56 million in charges set aside to cover the costs of closing the Charlotte, N.C., tire plant.
The car/light truck division´s operating income fell 14.4 percent to $260.4 million, while sales rose 7.8 percent to $3.48 billion. The truck tire division´s earnings fell 6.1 percent, to $54 million as sales grew 7.8 percent to $882.2 million.
The ContiTech unit´s sales remained static, while margins increased to 11.9 percent, from 8.8 percent.