MILAN (Reuters) -- Italian supplier Brembo is expecting sales growth of as much as 12 percent this year, more than previously anticipated, after a promising first quarter, Deputy Chairman Matteo Tiraboschi said.
The brakes maker had previously expected sales growth of close to 10 percent for 2015.
In the first quarter, sales rose 15 percent to 514.3 million euros ($586 million), but Tiraboschi said the first half of the year is usually the company's strongest. First-quarter net profit rose 27.5 percent to 45.8 million euros, the company said on May 14.
Tiraboschi said Brembo's 2015 core profit margin could increase slightly from the 16 percent reached last year, but he did not expect it to hit the 17 percent achieved in the January-March period.
The family-controlled company, which supplies brakes to carmakers that include Ferrari and Porsche, is actively scouting for acquisition opportunities in the automotive and aviation industries.
"The conditions are good for an acquisition because there is liquidity available in the market, the cost of capital is relatively low and Brembo is generating cash, the chairman said." Tiraboschi also said that high multiples on possible targets were a negative and that there was nothing concrete on the table yet.
"We are putting a lot of effort into this, but it is not easy to find a target that would fit with Brembo's DNA," Tiraboschi said, adding that Brembo would be a "great target" for an Asian buyer, but that the company was not for sale.
High-profile Italian automotive sector companies have been attracting a lot of interest from Asia due to their expertise.
China National Chemical Corp is set to become the majority owner of tire maker Pirelli, and automotive design firm Pininfarina has attracted interest from India's Mahindra & Mahindra.