Intier Automotive has posted a quarterly profit with sales boosted in part by the strengthening of key currencies, including the Canadian dollar, against the US dollar, Reuters reported.

Automotive interior component and seat maker Intier posted a net income of $20.5 million, or 37 cents a share diluted, for the quarter ended December 31, compared with a loss of $3.7 million, or 9 cents a share, in the previous year period, the report said. Fourth-quarter profit in the previous-year period was hit by about $25 million in charges.

Analysts forecast, on average, a profit of 32 cents a share for the latest quarter, according to Thomson First Call, Reuters added.

Intier of Newmarket, Ontario, one of the Magna International Inc.’s group of companies, reportedly said sales rose to $1.4 billion in the quarter from $1.05 billion.

Reuters said the company attributed about 34% of that increase, or $126 million, to the impact of the strengthening Canadian dollar, euro and pound sterling against the US dollar.

For the year, Intier had a profit of $62.3 million on sales of $4.65 billion, up from earnings of $48.6 million on sales of $3.9 billion, the report added.

According to Reuters, Intier forecast that sales in 2004 will range between $5.1 to $5.3 billion, based on modestly higher North American and European light vehicle production volumes of 16.1 million and 16.4 million units.

It reportedly said the value of Intier parts in vehicles would range between $200 and $208 in North America this year, up from $164 last year. In Europe, it expects content per vehicle in the range of $97 to $103, compared with $94 in 2003.

The news agency’s report said Intier pinned the higher sales and content value in part on the launch of programmes this year that will see it supply interior parts for Chevrolet’s Equinox and Cobalt models as well BMW and Audi.