Continental, the German maker of tires and car parts, on Thursday announced higher than expected net profits last year of 673.8 million euros ($872.3 million), almost twice as high as in 2003. Continental had recorded net profits of 314 million euros in 2003. In 2004, operating profit climbed to 1.096 billion euros compared with 855 million euros the previous year, the company said in a statement. Turnover meanwhile rose to 12.59 billion euros against 11.53 billion euros in 2003. The figures exceed the forecasts of analysts who had predicted turnover of 12.57 billion euros and net profits of 566 million euros. Continental said it was expecting record turnover and record net profits in 2005.