Magna International has reported net profit for the first quarter of 2003 of $US162 million, a 6% increase over the $153 million for the first quarter of 2002.

The company posted record sales of $3.8 billion for the first quarter ended March 31, 2003, an increase of 21%. Automotive sales for the first quarter of 2003 increased 22%. The higher sales reflect a 33% increase in European content per vehicle, a 13% increase in North American content per vehicle, a 16% increase in tooling and other sales, and increased vehicle production in North America and Europe of 2% and 1%, respectively.

Diluted earnings per share of $1.65 for the first quarter of 2003 was unchanged from the first quarter of 2002. Diluted earnings per share for the first quarter of 2003 reflects an increase in net income and a higher average number of diluted shares outstanding due to the Donnelly acquisition in the fourth quarter of 2002.

During the first quarter of 2003 cash generated from operations before changes in non-cash working capital was $330 million. Total investment activities during the quarter were $162 million, including $115 million in automotive fixed assets additions, $13 million in MEC fixed asset additions, and $34 million in other assets.

Magna remains cautious about North American and European vehicle production volumes for the remainder of 2003 due to uncertainty about general economic conditions.

For the second quarter of 2003, the company expects average dollar content per vehicle in North America to range between $495 and $510 and in Europe between $265 and $280. In addition, Magna has assumed that second quarter 2003 vehicle volumes will be approximately 4.1 million units in North America and 4.2 million units in Europe.

Based on expected average dollar content per vehicle in North America and Europe, the vehicle volume assumptions and anticipated tooling and other automotive sales, the company expects its automotive sales for the second quarter of 2003 to be between $3.4 billion and $3.6 billion and diluted earnings per share from operations to be in the range of $1.50 to $1.70.

Magna expects full year 2003 average dollar content per vehicle in North America to range between $490 and $510 and in Europe between $280 and $300. Further, the company is assuming full year 2003 vehicle production volumes of approximately 15.8 million units in North America and approximately 16.1 million units in Europe. Based on expected average dollar content per vehicle in North America and Europe, the vehicle volume assumptions and anticipated tooling and other automotive sales, the company expects its automotive sales for the full year 2003 to range from $13.4 billion to $14.3 billion, compared to 2002 automotive sales of $12.4 billion. In addition, diluted earnings per share from operations for 2003 are expected to be in the range of $6.00 to $6.40.

Magna also expects that full year 2003 spending for fixed assets for its automotive business will be in the range of $750 million to $800 million, compared to $791 million in 2002.