FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German auto supplier Robert Bosch [ROBG.UL] expects its operating margin to grow this year thanks to increased demand for automated driving systems and technologies to cut diesel pollution, it said on Wednesday.
The group also targets 2018 sales growth of 2 to 3 percent from last year’s 78.1 billion euros ($95.20 billion).
“Bosch is aiming for further growth in 2018, despite the difficult economic climate,” the Stuttgart-based company said.
“An escalation between the United States and China, with repercussions for global trade as a whole, poses the biggest risk factor,” it added.
Thanks to surging demand for sophisticated safety and automated driving technologies, Bosch’s sales of radar and video sensors are set to increase 40 percent, and sales of driver assistance systems will grow 20 percent this year, it said.
“More automation means greater technical complexity. In the future, our customers will need all-in-one solutions, not just discreet components,” Bosch said, adding that the headcount of its automated driving solutions engineering team had grown by 25 percent last year, to 4,000 staff.
Annual sales from driver assistance systems will reach 2 billion euros by 2019, Bosch said.
Sales in its automotive business rose 7.8 percent last year thanks to demand for driver assistance and infotainment systems and diesel injection systems. [nL8N1PP2Y7]
Bosch said it has developed a new exhaust emissions treatment technology which cuts pollution from health-threatening nitrogen oxides (NOx) to 13 milligrams per kilometer, well below the current legal limit of 120 milligrams.
($1 = 0.8203 euros)
Reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by Maria Sheahan