Automotive interior supplier Lear Corporation has reported net sales of $3.3 billion, operating income of $158.9 million and net income of $61.6 million, or $0.91 per share for the third quarter of 2002.

These results compare to net sales of $3.1 billion, operating income of $137.5 million and net income of $15.7 million, or $0.24 per share in Q3 2001.

Excluding non-recurring items and goodwill amortisation for the third quarter of 2001, Lear had adjusted operating income of $137.5 million and net income of $41.8 million, or $0.64 per share.

Net sales and operating income for the quarter rose 7% and 16%, respectively, compared with 2001, reflecting higher North American vehicle production and new business globally, offset partially by lower vehicle production in Western Europe and South America.

For the fourth quarter, Lear anticipates net sales to be up 5%-7% compared with a year ago, reflecting higher vehicle production in North America and the addition of new business globally, offset by lower vehicle production in Western Europe.

For the full year, Lear anticipates vehicle production volume for North America of about 16.5 million units and vehicle production volume for Western Europe in the range of 15.7 million to 15.9 million units.

The company’s initial planning assumption for North American vehicle production is approximately 16.0 million units in 2003. For Western Europe and South America, industry production in line with 2002 is expected.

Within this production environment, worldwide net sales are expected to grow by approximately 4%-6%, primarily reflecting the addition of new business globally.