Tire maker Continental posts record annual results | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 07.03.2013
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Tire maker Continental posts record annual results

German maker of automotive parts and tires Continental has reported record sales and profit despite a difficult market environment. The company looks set to increase dividends and pay out higher bonuses to employees.

Germany's automotive parts and tire producer Continental on Thursday announced it logged record results in 2012, with both sales and earnings rising considerably year-on-year.

Last year, the company's net profit surged by 51.6 percent to almost 1.9 billion euros ($2.5 billion). The drastic increase in earnings came on the back of a boost in sales, with revenues up 7.3 percent.

"In 2012, Continental set new records in a market environment that was difficult in part," CEO Elmar Degenhart said in a statement. "What's more, we cut our net indebtedness by close to 1.5 billion euros to a reasonable level of 5.3 billion euros."

Bright outlook

The company said it was optimistic its 2012 success could be continued in the current year despite muted market prospects particularly in debt-stricken Europe.

"With a record 25 billion euros in customer orders last year we look both to this year and the years beyond with confidence," Degenhart said.

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European car market in crisis

Continental announced it had proposed raising the dividend per share to 2.25 euros for last year, up from 1.5 euros in 2011.

The firm also said it would pay each of the 50,000 workers receiving agreed wages in Germany more than 900 euros in special annual bonuses. The DAX-listed company emerged as the third-biggest gainer in early trading Thursday, while the overall blue-chip index was up only marginally.

hg/mz (AFP, dpa)