Continental, the German maker of tires and car parts, said Tuesday that bottom-line earnings nearly doubled in the second quarter of this year, thanks in part to the recent acquisition of rival firm Phoenix. In the period from April to June, net profit amounted to 243.3 million euros ($297 million), up 96.5 percent from the year-earlier figure, Continental said in a statement. Operating profit, as measured by earnings before interest and tax (EBIT), was up 46 percent at 405.6 million euros on a 12-percent
increase in sales to 3.555 billion euros. Taking the first six months of 2005 as a whole, Continental booked a 59.3-percent rise in net profit to 410.3 million euros, a 28.5-percent rise in operating profit to 687.3 million euros and a 10.6-percent rise in sales to 6.808 billion euros. "In the first six months, we made considerable progress towards our goal of achieving new top figures and are looking to the second half of the year with confidence," said chairman Manfred Wennemer.