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"This is still a very satisfying result," said continental financial director Wolfgang Schfer of the Brsen newspaper. The company is in line with expectations in the fourth quarter. "We are very willing to achieve the sales target of around € 44.5 billion."
Turnover, triggered by worsening conditions, especially in key markets in Europe and China, led to higher profits in the summer.
The DAX Group CFO expects the weakness of the Chinese auto market to continue in the first two quarters of 2019. Problems in Europe as part of the move to the new WLTP exhaust test standard are also off the table. However, Schfer predicts that global production of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles will grow by 1% in the next year.
If higher US import rates were introduced for cars from Germany and the EU, the consequences are not easy to predict, says CFO. Commercial disputes could lead to greater reluctance among car buyers. "Such a ransom will strike us immediately."
Hope for the Counts-dividend
The auto parts supplier and the tire manufacturer also hope shareholders will be in the dividend. "Of course, we know that expectations in the capital market in an environment in which the share price has declined, with a stable payment of dividends," said Schfer the Brsen-Zeitung. "In conclusion, Continental was" very well prepared. "He added," Total Return Stock ", starting in 2017, Continental distributed $ 4.50 in dividends per share.
The share price of the group has dropped dramatically after two warnings on profits in the current year. In the fourth quarter, the group is "in line with expectations", said the sheet. The sales target of about 44.5 billion will be Continental "in all likelihood achieved". In August, Continental lowered its earnings forecasts for the second time this year, as among other things it lost ground in China.
FRANKFURT Dow Jones & dpa AFX
Image sources: Nils Versemann / Shutterstock.com, Continental