Continental AG Posts 1Q Turnaround

BERLIN (AP) -- Auto parts and tire maker Continental AG returned to profitability in the first quarter, reversing previous losses amid higher sales and successful cost cutting.

At its annual meeting Wednesday, the company based in Hannover said its pretax profit for the January-March period was euro494 million ($656.5 million) as revenues rose to around euro6 billion, an increase of euro1.7 billion.

The company will release its full first-quarter report on May 4.

Looking ahead, Continental Chief Executive Elmar Degenhart says the company expects at least a 5 percent boost in sales for 2010, but adds if markets continue to improve, "we even have a chance of increasing sales by as much as 10 percent."

Despite the improved figures, Continental shares were down 2.8 percent to euro41.14 in Frankfurt trading.

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