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Autoliv posts quarterly profit; Veoneer issues improved forecast
STOCKHOLM — Sweden’s Autoliv, the world’s largest producer of airbags and seatbelts, reported higher than expected quarterly earnings on Friday as it returned to profit in the wake of a plunge in car production due to the pandemic.
Autoliv reported a third-quarter operating profit of $ 175 million compared with a $ 154 million profit in the year-ago quarter and a mean forecast of $ 163 million based on a poll of analysts published by the company.
On an adjusted basis, operating earnings were $ 206 million in the quarter, up from a year-ago $ 183 million.
The rival of ZF and Joyson Safety Systems also said that for the full year it expected to further outperform global light vehicle production during a “very busy” fourth quarter for order intake.
“The worst demand decline on record in the second quarter was followed by a faster than expected recovery in the third quarter, with its challenges of managing the supply chain,” CEO Mikael Bratt said in the statement.
“The quarter started weak and volatile but gradually grew stronger and more stable and we managed to record higher sales, higher profits and higher cash flow compared to the third quarter 2019.”
Autoliv slammed the brakes on spending and moved to bolster its cash position as the pandemic and related lockdowns saw auto production shudder to a standstill across much of Europe and North America, but it still slumped to a loss in the second quarter.
Since then, production and demand has staged a recovery, though worries have grown amid a renewed and vigorous spread of the disease in large swaths of Europe and the U.S.
In its first stab at full-year guidance since the initial peak of the pandemic, it said it expected a 13 percent decline in like-for-like sales and an adjusted operating margin of 6 percent.
Autoliv ranks No. 31 on the Automotive News list of top 100 global suppliers, with fiscal 2019 sales to automakers of $ 8.54 billion.
Meanwhile, automotive technology group Veoneer — the supplier that spun off from Autoliv in 2018 — said it would return to organic sales growth in the final three months of the year, after a swift rebound from the effects of the pandemic across the automotive sector in the third quarter.
The Sweden-based company reported a $ 103 million operating loss for the third quarter, versus a $ 122 million loss a year earlier, right in line with mean analysts’ forecast in a poll published by the company.
Veoneer , a maker of radars, vision systems and driver-assistance software, said it was cautiously optimistic looking at the fourth quarter, and was seeing strong demand at the start of the period, particularly in China.
“We have a generally good momentum in Veoneer at the moment,” CEO Jan Carlson told Reuters in an interview.
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