HANOVER, Germany—Continental A.G. has posted a strong financial 2015, with sales climbing by about 14 percent to $42.8 billion and earnings (EBIT) by 23 percent year-on-year to about $4.47 billion.
The group's sales rose to $17.3 billion, from $14.8 billion, and earnings before tax (EBITDA) rose to $3.38 billion, up from $3.09 billion in 2014, Continental said during its financial presentation March 3.
The tire division's EBITDA rose to $2.84 billion in 2015, up from $2.49 billion, while ContiTech's earnings lifted from a prior-year $601 million to $629.5 million in 2015.
“Continental is in great shape. With our proven business model, we generated free cash flow before acquisitions of ($2.95) billion in 2015,” said Elmar Degenhart, Continental executive board chairman.
“Backed by a strong financial position, we are tackling the major challenges ahead, which particularly include volatile markets, fluctuations in raw material prices and currency exchange rates.”
For the current fiscal year, Continental anticipates a growth rate similar to that achieved in 2015.
“We expect organic growth of 5 percent to approximately ($47) billion,” said Chief Financial Officer Wolfgang Schaefer, adding that Continental anticipated “only a moderate rise in global vehicle production of 1.5 percent to just under 90 million units”.
Weak development in the Russian and Brazilian markets are expected to be offset by growth in the vehicle markets in Europe and China, he said.
Continental invested $2.4 billion in property, plant and equipment, and software in 2015. Research and development expenses increased 14.6 percent to more than $2.73 billion, corresponding to 6.2 percent of sales as in the previous year.