Continental raises 2021 outlook after planned Vitesco spin-off

BERLIN, May 6 (Reuters) - German automotive supplier Continental AG on Thursday raised its 2021 profit forecast after the planned spin-off of its Vitesco unit, but warned the coming months would be very challenging due to the shortage of semiconductors.

Continental said, excluding the Vitesco business, it expects a 2021 adjusted EBIT margin of between 6% to 7%, up from a previously announced forecast of around 5% to 6%.

“The coming months will remain very challenging,” Chief Executive Nikolai Setzer said, as bottlenecks in the supply of semiconductors, rising raw material prices and the coronavirus pandemic weigh on the global economy.

The company confirmed it achieved preliminary first-quarter sales of 10.3 billion euros ($12.37 billion) and an adjusted EBIT margin of 8.1%. It reported a 53% rise in net income in the quarter to 448 million euros. ($1 = 0.8329 euros) (Reporting by Riham Alkousaa Editing by Caroline Copley)