December 15, 2016 / 6:51 AM / 3 years ago

Continental sees no profit from e-car products before 2020: CEO

Elmar Degenhart, CEO of Germany's Continental AG speaks during the 'International CAR Symposium' in Bochum January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Ina Fassbender

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German automotive supplier Continental (CONG.DE) will continue to post losses with products for electric cars until at least 2019, its Chief Executive Elmar Degenhart told German weekly magazine WirtschaftsWoche.

“The shift from combustion engines to electro-mobility will only massively take off between 2025 and 2030. Sometime between there, the number of combustion engines around the world will peak and then moderately decline,” the magazine quoted Degenhart as saying.

“The necessary development costs are the biggest challenge for our industry,” he added.

Continental said last month it would increase spending on electric-car components in coming years but expects to avert any major impact on its earnings through additional sales from new R&D projects.

Degenhart told WirtschaftsWoche that Continental has invested more than 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) into its electro-mobility business over the past few years and has concrete orders from all major markets such as Asia, America and Europe.

He also said that Continental’s business overall was going well this quarter and he was confident that the group would reach its amended full-year financial targets.

Continental had cut its profit guidance in October, saying it expected a 2016 margin on adjusted earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) at its automotive business, of more than 6.5 percent, compared with previous guidance for more than 8.5 percent.

($1 = 0.9522 euros)

Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Stephen Coates

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