Schaeffler takes 380 million euro provision on EU antitrust fine

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MUNICH (Bloomberg) -- German supplier Schaeffler took a 380 million euro ($526 million) provision after being fined in a European Union antitrust probe.

Adjusted earnings before interest and taxes last year were unchanged at 1.41 billion euros, with the margin declining 0.1 percentage point to 12.7 percent of revenue, the company said in a statement today, adding that the margin in 2014 will amount to 12 percent to 13 percent of sales.

The manufacturer ranks second to Gothenburg, Sweden-based SKF AB in the global ball-bearings market. The two companies were among five bearing producers that the European Union yesterday said agreed to pay a combined 953.3 million euros to settle an antitrust investigation into automotive parts.

Schaeffler is struggling to reduce debt from an attempt, spearheaded by former CEO Juergen Geissinger, to buy a limited stake in fellow German supplier Continental that backfired amid the global recession of 2008.

Schaeffler has scaled back net debt to 5.9 billion euros at the end of December from a peak figure exceeding 10 billion euros.

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