MUNICH (Bloomberg) -- Continental plans on a 5 percent revenue gain in 2015 after car-market growth in the U.S. and China helped sales rise 4 percent last year to hit a fifth consecutive record high.
Revenue this year will increase to more than 36 billion euros ($42.7 billion), Continental said today in a statement.
Sales rose to about 34.5 billion euros in 2014, matching the company's forecast. Adjusted earnings before interest and taxes amounted to 11 percent of sales, also in line with the manufacturer's target.
Continental has followed German carmakers such as Volkswagen Group and Daimler into countries including the U.S. and China to reduce dependence on Europe, where the demand is only slowly recovering from a two-decade low.
The supplier is focusing on self-driving and emissions-reduction technology as well as in-car communication links to outpace global auto-market growth. The global car industry will expand by 2 percent this year to about 89 million light vehicles, and "with this, we want to once again securely confirm our double-digit adjusted- EBIT margin," CEO Elmar Degenhart said in the statement.
The manufacturer is considering further acquisitions after agreeing last year to the 1.4 billion-euro purchase of U.S. hose and conveyor-belt maker Veyance Technologies Inc. Continental has the potential to invest as much as 2 billion euros and is interested in boosting its industrial division as well as revenue from Asia, Chief Financial Officer Wolfgang Schaefer said in October.
The Veyance takeover marked Continental's return to growth by acquisition after a purchase in 2007 caused borrowings to balloon and tempted industrial-bearings producer Schaeffler into a takeover effort that eventually failed.
Continental is looking at taking part in a components-industry consolidation propelled last year by German manufacturer ZF Friedrichshafen's $11.7 billion agreement in September to buy TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. That deal is creating the world's second-largest maker of auto parts, big enough to push back against pricing pressure from the largest car producer.
Continental is scheduled to present detailed earnings numbers on March 5.