Continental hikes 2013 adj EBIT margin goal after Q3 profit jump

BERLIN Thu Nov 7, 2013 2:09am EST

BERLIN Nov 7 (Reuters) - German auto parts and tyre maker Continental AG raised its full-year profit margin target due to a lower-than-expected increase in raw material costs after adjusted operating earnings jumped almost a fifth.

The company forecast its adjusted operating margin would increase to at least 10.5 percent this year, compared with a previous target of more than 10 percent, the Hanover-based company said in its quarterly earnings statement on Thursday.

Continental, however, lowered its target for full-year sales to about 33.5 billion euros ($45.32 billion) from a previously expected 34 billion euros, citing the euro's "unexpectedly strong" appreciation against other currencies.

Third-quarter adjusted earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) increased 19 percent to 1.02 billion euros, beating even the highest estimate of 950 million euros from a Reuters poll. ($1 = 0.7392 euros) (Reporting by Andreas Cremer)

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