March 8, 2018 / 7:46 AM / in a year

Continental still gauging options for structural revamp

BERLIN, March 8 (Reuters) - Germany’s Continental said it is still working on a new corporate structure as the automotive supplier proposed a higher dividend, buoyed by higher fourth-quarter profits and sales.

The auto parts and tyre maker has been in talks with banks about a possible structural revamp that could include listing or spinning off divisions.

“A plan is yet to be finalized,” Chief Executive Elmar Degenhart said on Thursday, adding Continental was in the midst of assessing its options.

The company proposed to raise the dividend for 2017 by 25 cents to 4.50 euros ($5.58) and reaffirmed expectations that profit and sales would keep growing this year.

Fourth-quarter adjusted earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) rose 3.5 percent to 1.33 billion euros, matching a 1.32 billion-euro consensus forecast in a Reuters poll of banks and brokerages. Group sales increased 7.2 percent to 11.3 billion euros.

Hanover-based Continental already released core 2017 earnings on Jan. 9. ($1 = 0.8065 euros) (Reporting by Andreas Cremer Editing by Edward Taylor)

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