PARIS Feb 12 Faurecia, the world's
biggest maker of car interiors, scrapped its dividend and
pledged to lift profit in 2013 by slashing costs to counter
Europe's auto slump.
The manufacturer of car doors, dashboards, exhausts and body
panels vowed on Tuesday to raise full-year operating income even
as the region's vehicle market shrinks a predicted 4-5 percent.
Nanterre, France-based Faurecia, which is cutting at least
3,000 jobs over two years, said it would propose no dividend on
2012 financial results, published as estimates last month.
The cutbacks will help Faurecia "offset the ongoing drop in
European vehicle production and focus on cash generation", Chief
Executive Yann Delabriere said in a statement.
With European auto sales at a 17-year low, vehicle
manufacturers and suppliers are scrambling to ramp up overseas
investment and sales in more dynamic economies.
Faurecia's parent PSA Peugeot Citroen, which
controls the parts maker through a 57.4 percent stake, is among
the carmakers worst hit by the crisis.
North American revenue jumped 41 percent to 3.65 billion
euros ($4.88 billion) last year, Faurecia said on Tuesday, and
Ford displaced Peugeot as its second-biggest customer
after Germany's Volkswagen.
Net income plunged 62 percent to 142 million euros on a 7.3
percent sales increase to 17.37 billion - in line with estimates
published last month when the company warned about rising debt.
Europe's production slowdown swelled inventories of parts
and materials, increasing net financial debt by 48 percent to
1.81 billion euros as of Dec. 31, the company confirmed.
Faurecia also predicted that this year's cash flow will be
close to neutral only before deduction of restructuring costs of
between 120 million and 140 million euros.
It forecast a sales gain of between 0.8 percent and 3.1
percent for 2013, but excluding currency effects such as the
euro's recent rally which is likely to hurt the conversion its
dollar revenues and earnings if sustained.