ArvinMeritor has posted much improved sales and profits for its third fiscal quarter ended 30 June compared with the same period a year ago.

Sales of $2.0bn were about $340m higher while net income was $44m, or $0.60 per share, compared to a net loss of $70m, or $0.99 per share, in Q3, 2007.

Income from continuing operations, before special items, was $56m, or $0.77 per share, compared to $18m, or $0.25 a share.

"ArvinMeritor's favourable product, customer and geographic mix, combined with a dedicated focus across the company to implement and maintain cost reduction initiatives, drove strong results this quarter," said chairman, CEO and president Chip McClure.

The supplier said about half of the sales increase was due to stronger currencies outside the US while higher medium and heavy duty truck production in western Europe; favourable industry conditions in South America and Asia Pacific; a steady demand for the company's light vehicle product mix in Europe; and increased specialty sales, including military products in North America and off-highway products in China, accounted for the rest.

The company expects fiscal year sales in the range of $7.1bn to $7.3bn.

Earnings per share from continuing operations, before special items, is expected at the top end of the previously forecast range of $1.40 to $1.60.

"We look forward to 2009 with optimism," said McClure. "We have improved our results consistently through the first three quarters of fiscal year 2008 despite deterioration in the North American and European markets. Next year, we expect to benefit from Class 8 commercial vehicle production volumes in North America which are forecast to increase in the range of 20 to 40%."