FRANKFURT, April 30 Germany's Robert Bosch
expects sales growth of between 3 and 5 percent this
year, even as the automotive supplier shifts its focus toward
Asian markets and developing internet-connected sensors.
The Stuttgart, Germany-based company which makes ultrasound,
radar and video sensors as well as spark plugs, wants to tap
into a growing market for internet-enabled devices and systems
to allow autonomous driving.
"We continue to move forward with our traditional business
and are opening up new fields of business," Bosch Chief
Executive Volkmar Denner said. "In doing so we are benefiting
from our broad technological and industrial expertise."
The shift toward more sophisticated cars will result in a 25
percent increase in the production of ultrasound sensors this
year to 50 million devices, and the number of radar and video
sensors produced will also double, to more than two million
units, Bosch said.
On Wednesday, Bosch, an unlisted company which does not
issue detailed quarterly results, said sales in the first three
months of 2014 increased by around seven percent and that its
automotive technology business sector had grown "impressively."
Sales of driver assistance systems could exceed 1 billion
euros as early as 2016, as cars become more sophisticated and
offer new business opportunities, Bosch said.
Aside from making a push to develop more internet-enabled
products, Bosch wants to expand its footprint outside of Europe.
By 2020 Bosch plans to double its sales in Asia, North and
South America, the company said. This year the company will add
9,000 university graduates from around the world to its
workforce of 281,000 staff.
Bosch reiterated its earnings before interest and tax (EBIT)
in 2013 amounted to 2.75 billion euros, and that excluding an
extraordinary 1.3 billion euro charge for losses on its solar
business, the group's EBIT margin was 6 percent.
Bosch said last year its automotive business continued to
grow, particularly gasoline and diesel direct injection systems,
as well as display instruments and infotainment systems.
The company's industrial technology and packaging machinery
businesses also recorded good growth. By contrast, the global
weakness of the mechanical engineering sector caused a slump in
the drive and control technology division.
(Reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by Mark Potter)