April 25, 2019 / 5:03 PM / 6 months ago

UPDATE 1-Valeo sales dip on slowing auto production

(Adds comment, details, background)

PARIS, April 25 (Reuters) - French auto parts maker Valeo said sales fell 0.8 percent in the first quarter amid sharper declines in vehicle production in some of its major markets.

Revenue fell to 4.841 billion euros ($5.39 billion) in January-March from 4.881 billion a year earlier, as global auto production dropped 7 percent, the Paris-based company said.

The maker of lighting, self-driving, electrified and fuel-saving systems said it was on course to outpace auto production by a wider margin in 2019, reiterating full-year goals.

The first-quarter decline was closer to 3 percent on a like-for-like basis that excludes exchange-rate effects, Valeo said.

Valeo has invested heavily to benefit from ever-tightening emissions regulations and increasing vehicle automation, through a push into electrified cars, sensors and camera systems.

While waiting for the strategy to pay off, the company has been buffeted by an auto-market slowdown and weakening order intake that forced it to rein in capital spending and pledge 100 million euros in new savings.

Despite a modest rally in recent weeks, the company’s shares are down 44 percent over the past 12 months.

“In a particularly unstable economic and geopolitical environment, we are pressing ahead with our plan to reduce costs and capital expenditure,” Chief Executive Jacques Aschenbroich said in the company statement.

$1 = 0.8977 euros Reporting by Laurence Frost; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta and David Evans

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