MUNICH -- Robert Bosch said revenue at its automotive division rose 9 percent to 33.3 billion euros ($37.7 billion) last year, boosted by growth in sales of car safety, fuel-saving and infotainment systems.
The supplier also said it is looking at more acquisitions for units such as building-management technology and consumer appliances to reduce long-term dependence on the auto industry, from which it generates more than two-thirds of its revenue.
In a statement today, the German supplier said its automotive business grew more than twice as fast as the automotive market, largely driven by increased sales of gasoline direct-injection systems and high-pressure diesel injection systems, along with display instruments and infotainment systems.
The shift toward more fuel-efficient and safer cars helped unlisted Bosch to sell more of its high-margin driver assistance systems, including ultrasound, radar and video sensors used in crash-avoidance technology.
Bosch said groupwide revenue rose 6 percent to 48.9 billion euros last year. Excluding currency effects, the increase was 7.2 percent. Earnings before interest and taxes, adjusted for consolidation, rose by about 1 percentage point to 6.1 percent of sales.
The automotive division, which Bosch this year renamed mobility solutions, accounted for 68 percent of the company's 2014 sales revenue.
Bosch forecast sales at the division would grow at twice the rate of the market for passenger cars. Sales at the division are expected to reach 37 billion euros in 2015 CEO Volkmar Denner told reporters.
The company's 2014 results were helped by a 17 percent jump in sales in Asia Pacific, and a 9 percent increase in North America, the preliminary figures showed.
Full results are due on April 29.
Bosch said the size of possible acquisition targets can vary as the supplier is taking an opportunistic approach and would act if the industrial logic is compelling. "We are also looking into possible disinvestments as part of a frequent analysis of our portfolio," Denner said.
Bosch, which also makes packaging equipment, water heaters and power tools, forecast the global economy will grow 2.7 percent this year, about the same pace as in 2014. Global auto production is expected to expand by 3 percent.
The closely held company, which is based near Stuttgart, has sidestepped economic woes in Europe by expanding in Asia and North America.
Bosch is targeting improved earnings and a higher return on sales in 2015, Denner said. The company, which has previously outlined long-term plans to widen its margin to 8 percent, is scheduled to offer a detailed forecast at its annual earnings press conference in late April.