BERLIN (Reuters) - Brake systems manufacturer Knorr Bremse (KBX.DE) shrugged off concerns about global trade to forecast higher sales for 2018 on Wednesday, boosted by robust demand for both its rail and commercial vehicle systems.
In the company’s first results since its stock market debut in October, Knorr Bremse said it expects full-year revenues to rise to between 6.6 and 6.7 billion euros ($7.46-7.57 billion) in 2018. Before its IPO, it had forecast sales of 6.4 to 6.6 billion euros.
The supplier to the world’s leading rail and truck makers said earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) increased 12.6 percent to 876 million euros in the first nine months of the year.
Sales rose 9.5 percent to 4.99 billion euros, boosted by an increase in the production of trucks and demand for its rail braking systems in Europe.
Shares in the company, which makes brakes, door systems, air conditioning, driver assistance technology and steering systems, rose 0.9 percent in early trading but were down 0.2 percent at 0836 GMT.
Knorr Bremse sold shares worth 3.9 billion euros in October, making it Germany’s second-biggest stock market listing this year after Siemens Healthineers (SHLG.DE).
Concerns about a downturn in demand for trucks and cars in key markets like China and the United States have weighed on other supplies to the industry.
Tyre makers such as Michelin and its rivals Continental AG (CONG.DE) and Goodyear (GT.O) have been hit by weaker demand in China, whose economy has been slowing, and the impact of adverse foreign exchange movements and commodity prices.
But Knorr Bremse said robust worldwide demand in its rail system business and an increase in the truck production rate had helped its order backlog rise 11.9 percent to 4.45 billion euros.
It also expects an EBITDA margin in the range of 17.5 to 18.5 percent this year, compared to 18.1 percent in 2017.
Reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by Tassilo Hummel and Alexandra Hudson