Germany's ElringKlinger sees sales overcoming European car gloom

Wed Feb 6, 2013 8:42am EST

* Global auto production to stagnate in 2013 - CEO

* Targets disproportionate growth in 2013 results - CEO

* Bottom of European slump not yet in sight - CEO

By Hendrik Sackmann

DETTINGEN/ERMS, Germany, Feb 6 (Reuters) - German automotive supplier ElringKlinger has targeted continuing sales growth this year in defiance of what its chief executive described as the "catastrophic" European car market.

CEO Stefan Wolf sees little prospect of an end to the European slump any time soon, but says that ElringKlinger should achieve a 5 percent increase in sales this year thanks to growing demand in other markets.

European auto sales hit a 17-year low last year as tight household budgets and rising unemployment deterred customers from making purchases.

"No one in southern Europe currently thinks about repairing his vehicle or making a purchase," Wolf told Reuters.

Global auto production will stagnate, he said, as continuing declines in Europe are offset by booming demand in North America and Asia. The bottom of the European slump has not yet been reached, he added.

ElringKlinger, which increased sales by 5.8 percent to 279.8 million euros ($378.5 million) in the third quarter of 2012, expects full-year revenue to be at the lower end of its 5-7 percent forecast when results are published on Mar. 28.

The company is also targeting disproportionate growth in 2013 earnings before interest and tax, Wolf said, without being more specific. ($1 = 0.7392 euros)

(Writing by Andreas Cremer.; Editing by David Goodman)

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