TRW Automotive Holdings has posted a profit beating market expectations due to strong automotive production and raised its full year sales outlook.

But TRW said it was cautious on the near term because of automotive supply-chain disruptions related to the 11 March earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Reuters noted.

TRW reported first-quarter net profit of US$2.21 per share excluding items, up 37% year on year - analysts had expected$1.76.

"Vehicle production remained robust through the first quarter of 2011," chief executive John Plant said in a statement. "However, we are cautious in the near-term due to supply chain disruptions caused by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan."

TRW said it expected production would recover from supply chain disruptions in the second half.

The company also raised its full-year sales outlook to between $15.7bn and $16bn from a previous range of $14.9bn to $15.3bn.

"While our sense is that most of the upward revision is likely currency related," Jefferies analyst Peter Nesvold wrote in a note for clients cited by Reuters, "we view it as a positive that management was willing to do so into the risk of further supply chain disruptions emanating out of Japan."

TRW said that Q1 revenue rose over 14% to $4.1bn from $3.58bn a year earlier. Analysts had expected revenue of $3.97bn.