HANOVER,Germany (Oct. 29, 2009)—Continental A.G.'s rubber group reported 11.2-percent higher pretax operating profit for the three months ended Sept. 30 despite 11.9-percent lower sales.
The rubber group—comprising the consumer and commercial tire and non-tire rubber product businesses—generated operating earnings of $548.2 million in the period on sales of $3.1 billion, for a 17.7-percent income ratio, or nearly four points higher than a year ago.
The three units in the rubber group each posted operating profits for the quarter and nine months, Conti said.
The passenger/light truck tire business posted earnings of $414.6 million on 6.4-percent lower sales of $1.82 billion, and the commercial tire business had profits of $16.3 million on 25.1-percent lower sales of $422.7 million for the quarter, Conti said.
For the year to date through September, the passenger/light truck tire unit was $998.8 million in the black on $4.91 billion in sales, and the commercial tire unit had profits of $56.7 million on sales of $1.12 billion. The units' sales were off 13.1 and 28.4 percent, respectively.
Regionally, Conti said replacement consumer tire sales in the Americas were up in the first three quarters, but OE volume was down. Commercial tire sales in the Americas fell just shy of the comparable 2008 period, with South America leading the way.
Overall, Continental was $1.52 billion in the red on a net basis for the quarter, primarily due to a one-time $1.28 billion goodwill impairment charge related to to its automotive group business. Pretax operating income fell 26.1 percent to $645.1 million, and sales declined 9.4 percent to $7.81 billion.