TRW Automotive Holdings first quarter net profit of US$206m or $1.59 per share was lower than the $281m and $2.13 booked the previous year. Sales rose 2% to $4.2bn.

TRW said tax issues and higher costs related to future growth were the main reasons for the profit dip.              

Chairman and CEO John Plant said: "Increased demand... helped offset the decline in vehicle production in Europe..."

Operating income was $331m, compared with $372m in Q1 2011 and included restructuring charges of $2m.                         

TRW expects full year industry production volumes to total 14.7m units in North America and 18.9m units in Europe. It expects production for the Detroit Three manufacturers up approximately 5% versus 2011.