BERLIN, Nov. 8 (Xinhua) -- The German automotive supplier Continental AG reaffirmed its outlook for 2018 on Thursday in spite of weak third quarter (Q3) earnings.
Its gross revenue rose slightly by 0.9 percent to 10.7 billion euros (12.2 billion U.S. dollars) in Q3, while earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) slumped by nearly 18 percent to 1.04 billion euros.
As a consequence of the weak quarterly performance, Continental's earnings during the first nine months of the year are also well below the levels measured during the same period in 2017. EBIT between January and September is down by 9.5 percent at 3.0 billion euros.
Continental chief executive officer (CEO) Elmar Degenhart highlighted on Thursday that his company had encountered a "considerably depressed market environment" in Q3. Production of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles had declined significantly during the past three months, particularly in the major markets of Europe and China which account for more than half of global vehicle production.
Nevertheless, Continental expressed confidence on Thursday that it would still be able to meet its recently revised annual targets to record 45 billion euros of consolidated sales and achieve an EBIT margin of more than 9 percent in 2018.
Continental is the world's second largest automotive supplier behind German rival Robert Bosch GmbH (Bosch). The DAX-listed firm achieved gross revenue of 44 billion euros in 2017 and employed 244,000 staff across the world as of the end of Q3. (1 euro= 1.14 U.S. dollars)