* Q4 loss smaller than forecast
* CEO says cost cuts are biting
* Sees return to organic sales growth in 2020
* Sees better results, stronger cash-flow in 2020
* Shares rise 4% (Adds background, detail, context, CEO comment, share)
STOCKHOLM, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Automotive technology group Veoneer reported a smaller-than-expected quarterly operating loss on Wednesday and forecast a return to like-for-like sales growth and improving results in 2020 despite a likely further decline in global car production.
Veoneer shares, which have tumbled over the past year as the Sweden-based company contended with a deep slump in light vehicle production, were up 4.3% by 1209 GMT.
The company, a maker of radars, vision systems and software for advanced driver assistance systems, said its fourth-quarter operating loss narrowed to $72 million from $75 million a year ago, beating the 107 million loss seen by analysts according to Refinitiv data.
“Our operating loss was lower than expected at the beginning of the quarter, primarily due to continuing cost control activities across the company,” Chief Executive and Chairman Jan Carlson said in a statement.
The company forecast “mid-single digit” organic sales growth in 2020 despite a “low-single” digit drop seen in global light vehicle output as it ramped up shipments out of its $19 billion order book during the second half of the year.
Organic sales growth excludes the impact of acquisitions and divestments.
Veoneer, which competes with the likes of Aptiv and Bosch, forecast order intake for 2020 of around $1 billion of average annual sales for its core electronics segment, about double the 2019 level.
The company, which warned in early January that order intake for 2019 had more than halved from 2018 levels as delayed contracts blighted the end of the year, told Reuters it had already booked orders of around $100 million so far in 2020. (Reporting by Johannes Hellstrom; editing by Niklas Pollard)
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