* CEO sees FY new orders, EBIT margin at upper end of range
* Duerr last forecast EBIT margin between 7.0 and 7.5 pct
* Investment climate brightens thanks to China, U.S.
By Hendrik Sackmann
STUTTGART, Germany, June 24 Germany's Duerr AG
, which supplies paintshops to carmakers, may increase
its full-year targets later this year thanks to booming business
in China and the United States.
"We will decide in the third quarter whether we need to
adjust our forecast, but we certainly won't be discussing a
downward revision," Chief Executive Ralf Dieter told Reuters,
adding new orders and profitability were at the upper end of the
company's range of expectations.
"The investment climate is brightening," he said.
The company, which supplies robots to paint car bodies and
benefits when carmakers expand production capacity, has forecast
new orders of between 2.3 billion euros ($3 billion) and 2.5
billion and an operating margin of 7.0 to 7.5 percent this year.
Last year Duerr generated incoming orders worth 2.60 billion
euros and achieved a 7.4 percent margin.
It is due to report second-quarter results on Aug. 1 and
third-quarter figures on Nov. 6, which is when Duerr might raise
its forecast for this year.
Dieter said his business was getting a lift from a
higher-than-expected 22 percent increase in car sales in China,
its largest market, in the first five months of this year.
"Some projects are now being tabled that automakers actually
wanted to address next year, but as car sales increase,
investments follow," the Duerr CEO said.
Dieter said he did not expect rising tensions in China's
interbank lending market to affect the car market, given that
automakers finance their expansion in China internally and the
fact that private consumers there seldom make use of financing
deals to buy a car.
"A credit crunch in China would not impact us nor our
customers," he said.
China, which accounted for roughly 850 million euros of the
company's new orders last year, is not the only part of the
world where Duerr's business is improving.
"Our customers in the U.S. are optimistic, so more is being
invested in the retooling, modernisation and automation of car
plants. Many factories are manufacturing around the clock due to
the continued boom in pick-ups," Dieter said.