(Reuters) - Vehicle parts maker Delphi Automotive Plc (DLPH.N) reported a 20 percent drop in first-quarter profit as lower sales in Europe and North America more than offset gains in Asia and South America.
The company had benefited from higher North American demand in its core electrical business until the fourth quarter of 2012. The electrical unit makes connectors, wiring assemblies, harnesses and safety distribution systems for vehicles.
While overall U.S. vehicle production continues to rise, a weak European economy is dragging down Delphi’s performance.
Delphi said on Wednesday that sales in Europe fell 17 percent in the quarter ended March 31, while North America sales fell 2 percent.
Europe, Middle East and Africa together accounted for about 41 percent of Delphi’s total revenue in 2012. The company did not provide geographical breakdown of sales for the quarter.
Net income attributable to Delphi fell to $276 million, or 88 cents per share from $342 million, or $1.04 per share, a year earlier.
Excluding items, Delphi earned $1.07 per share.
Revenue fell 6 percent to $4 billion, adjusted for currency rate differences, commodity price movements, acquisitions and divestitures.
Delphi maintained its 2013 revenue forecast of $16.20 billion to $16.60 billion. The forecast assumes a rise of 2 percent in global vehicle production.
The company initiated a quarterly cash dividend of 17 cents per share, payable to shareholders of record at the close of business on March 15.
Delphi's shares have gained almost 50 percent in the last 12 months, outpacing the 14 percent rise in the S&P 500 .SPX index. The shares closed at $46.21 on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.
Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das