FRANKFURT Nov 18 Germany's Lanxess, the world's largest maker of synthetic rubber, believes that the European automotive market has bottomed out, chief executive Axel Heitmann was quoted as saying in an interview published on Monday.
"The current historically low registration figures will be history soon. We believe that the trough has been reached," Heitmann told Handelsblatt Online in an interview published on Monday.
Lanxess last week posted a drop of more than a quarter in adjusted core earnings, hurt by lower prices for synthetic rubber for tyres and weak currencies in some of its export markets.
But car sales in France, Spain and Germany picked up in October driven by a surge in demand for compact vehicles, signalling a cautious rebound as the euro zone economy recovers slowly.
Heitmann told Handelsblatt Online that Lanxess was still posting robust earnings in its businesses that were not related to the car industry.
"But they cannot make up for what is happening in rubber markets right now," he said, adding that prices for products used to make car tyres had dropped by as much as 20 percent. (Reporting by Maria Sheahan; editing by Patrick Graham)