Continental AG has reported record sales and earnings for the sixth consecutive year.

Consolidated sales were up 7.2% to EUR15,960m (excluding Siemens VDO) and EBIT was up 14.9% to EUR1,839.8m.

Chairman Manfred Wennemer said that Continental plans to deliver further record results this year. He said that the year will be dominated by the integration of the [recently acquired] Siemens VDO business, which he said should achieve net synergy returns of more than EUR300m by 2010.

Reported sales and earnings in 2007, which includes Siemens VDO from the 1 December 2007 acquisition date, rose 11.6% to EUR16,619.4m. Siemens VDO alone contributed EUR659.3m to sales.

The employee count at Continental has risen by over 66,000, up 78% year on year, to 151,654. This is mainly due to Siemens VDO which added over 60,000. Continental has also acquired Thermopol, AP Italia and the Matador Group which added a further 3,500 employees.

Due to the acquisition of Siemens VDO, the ratio of research and development expense to sales in 2008 will rise to around 6%.

"We aim to reduce this ratio over the coming years. A ratio of just under 6% can be expected for 2009," said Karl-Thomas Neumann, board member for technological development.

For 2008 Continental is targeting sales of more than EUR26.4bn.