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Continental AG : CFO Sees Weak First-Quarter Business in Europe

01/14/2013 | 08:32am US/Eastern

By Nico Schmidt

DETROIT--German car supplier Continental AG (CON.XE) expects the first quarter of 2013 to be difficult because of weak business in Europe, Chief Financial Officer Wolfgang Schaefer said Monday.

Mr. Schaefer predicts European car production will decline by 10% to 12% in the first quarter. Last year, significant growth in the U.S. compensated for weak development in Europe but it has become increasingly difficult to exceed prior-year figures in the U.S., he noted.

Over the course of the next year, however, the CFO expects demand in Europe to recover and he forecasts full-year production to be 2% below the 2012 level.

U.S. car production will slightly rise this year and production in China will increase by 8% to 10% so there will be a 2% to 3% increase globally, according to Mr. Schaefer's predictions.

Continental AG's business will see growth predominantly in the second half of 2013, he added.

Write to Nico Schmidt at nico.schmidt@dowjones.com

Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires

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