(Reuters) -- Canadian auto parts maker and contract vehicle manufacturer Magna International Inc. reported a 47 percent jump in third-quarter earnings, boosted by strong demand in North America, which helped offset a fall in European sales.
In North America, from where the company gets about half of its total sales, Magna's vehicle production increased 8 percent and production sales rose 10 percent to $4.43 billion in the third quarter ended Sept. 30.
Vehicle production in Europe increased 4 percent, but production sales decreased 1 percent to $2.35 billion due to a fall in content on some programs such as the Mini Cooper and Mercedes-Benz C class.
However, the number of vehicles Magna manufactures in Europe is higher than that in North America, underscoring the region's importance.
Magna, which counts automakers such as General Motors Co., Volkswagen Group, BMW Group and Ford Motor Co. among its customers, has been pushing to improve efficiency in its European operations.
The impact of lower sales in Europe was more than offset by higher sales in North America as well as Asia, where production sales increased 13 percent.
Magna, which last month said it would open two new plants in India, said the higher sales in Asia were due to higher production volumes on some existing and new programs.
The growth in North America and Asia helped total sales increase 6 percent to $8.82 billion in the third quarter.
Net income attributable to Magna rose to $470 million, or $2.19 per share, from $319 million, or $1.39 per share, a year earlier.
Excluding certain items, it earned $2.22 per share, above average analyst estimate of $1.97, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.