Modified: February 22, 2013 10:52 AM
Valeo profit falls 11% despite record orders
PARIS (Reuters) -- French parts supplier Valeo said profit dropped 11 percent last year despite record orders for its fuel-saving and safety technologies.
The company pledged on Friday to maintain profitability this year despite an expected 4 percent decline in European auto production, after net income fell to 380 million euros ($502 million) in 2012.
Buoyant orders were helped by "the expansion of our business in Asia and emerging countries," CEO Jacques Aschenbroich said in a statement. "We're confident in our ability to achieve strong and profitable organic growth."
Sales rose 8.2 percent to 11.8 billion euros last year on a record order intake of 15.8 billion, the company said, reiterating its medium-term goal of exceeding a 7 percent operating margin.
Full-year operating profit rose 3 percent to 725 million euros, for a 6.2 percent margin, a level Valeo said it expects to sustain this year as global auto production edges up a forecast 1 percent.
Profitability is likely to decline in the first half and recover with an expected European market upturn in the second, Valeo said.
The company announced a proposed dividend of 1.50 euros per share, up 7 percent on last year's payout.