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MILAN May 14 Italian brakes maker Brembo reported a 74 percent rise in first-quarter net profit, boosted by higher sales and higher profit margins which it expects will keep showing year-on-year growth for the remainder of the year.
The company, which supplies brakes to carmakers including Ferrari and Porsche, said net profit for the first three months rose to 35.9 million euros ($49.2 million) from 20.6 million the previous year, while revenues were up 20 percent at 446.9 million euros.
Shares in the company rose more than 4 percent and were up 3.68 percent at 27.33 euros by 1036 GMT. The stock has risen nearly 35 percent in the year to date.
"Order book projections confirm that revenues and margins will show a good growth also in the remainder of the year," the company said in its statement.
Brembo, which has been involved with Formula One racing since the mid-1970s, said the quarter had benefited from positive developments across all market segments and geographical areas.
"Germany and the United States remain the group's top markets, but we are also seeing renewed activity in those European markets, including Italy, where we have suffered the most in the recent past," Chairman Alberto Bombassei said in a statement.
In Italy, among European countries most hit by a six-year slump in auto sales that only now show modest signs of recovery, Brembo's sales grew by 12 percent in the first quarter.
Brembo said in March it expects sales to increase by 8-10 percent this year, boosted by strong growth across its markets, and forecast an EBITDA margin - earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation as a percentage of sales - of 14 percent for 2014, up from 13.5 percent last year.
The group's EBITDA margin stood at 15.5 percent in the first quarter, but the company said that during the January to March period the product mix had been particularly positive and supported by healthy sales to customers in the higher-margin premium segment.
($1 = 0.7296 Euros) (Reporting by Agnieszka Flak; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)