HANOVER, Germany—Continental A.G. has raised its full-year forecast for earnings from its rubber group in spite of what it described as a persistently challenging market environment.
The German firm said the rubber group generated sales of about $12.6 billion in the first nine months of 2015, up from $10.9 billion for the same period in 2014.
Earnings increased to about $2.62 billion for first nine months, up from about $2.32 billion in 2014. Conti said better-than-expected development in crude oil and natural rubber prices has caused the firm to increase its forecast to more than 16 percent, up from just about 16 percent.
The company has raised its estimate for the positive effect of lower raw material costs from about $215 million to about $268.7 million for the current year. This relates mainly to the rubber group.
Conti's rubber group invested about $576.4 million, equivalent to 4.6 percent of sales, which was down from last year's 6.1 percent share.
Investments in the tire division, included production capacity expansion in North America and at European best-cost locations.
Among the sites named by Conti were Sumter, South Carolina; Mount Vernon, Illinois; Puchov, Slovakia; Hefei, China; Otrokovice, Czech Republic; Lousado, Portugal; and Timisoara, Romania.
ContiTech A.G.—the firm's non-tire division—made concentrated investments on the expansion of production capacity for fluid technology through its Benecke-Kaliko and conveyor belt business units.
Production facilities at German locations and in China, Hungary and the U.S. were expanded or established.
At the locations in Changzhou, China, and Jorf Lasfar, Morocco, ContiTech invested in the construction of new plants for the Benecke-Kaliko and conveyor belt business units.