Autoliv profit misses consensus as chip shortage curbs outlook

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Sweden’s Autoliv, the world’s largest producer of airbags and seatbelts, reported lower than expected second-quarter earnings on Friday and scaled back its full-year guidance as component shortages crimped car production.

Autoliv reported an operating profit of $164 million compared with a $234 million loss in the year-ago quarter, lagging a mean forecast for a $186 million profit based on a poll of analysts published by the company.

While the demand recovery from the market plunge in the early months of the pandemic has been strong, a global shortage of semiconductors has hit the automotive sector hard, forcing many car makers to curtail production plans.

Autoliv’s Sweden-listed shares fell 5.2% by 1219 GMT. Chief Executive Mikael Bratt said in a statement that the lower than expected light vehicle production (LVP) had impacted the company’s sales and profitability in the quarter.

“Although the situation improved towards the end of the quarter, we still expect supply disruptions to impact LVP negatively in the third quarter with some improvement in the fourth quarter,” he said.

Bratt told Reuters there had been few clear signs the semiconductor shortage, which has also seen Autoliv step in to aid its own suppliers in their efforts to source chips, was set to be significantly redressed in the near term.

“Our best estimate right now is that quarter two was the worst point of this challenge,” Bratt said. “It’s difficult to know the exact lead times for this problem, but I wouldn’t rule out that it will have some impact also heading into 2022.”

The rival of ZF and Joyson Safety Systems lowered its 2021 guidance for like-for-like sales growth to 16-18% from around 20% and also scaled back its forecast for profitability while flagging steepening raw material costs.

Reporting by Niklas Pollard; editing by David Evans