Continental has posted year-on-year first-quarter net income attributable to the shareholders of the parent, down 22% to EUR575m (US$643m), although it says sales were “on par” at EUR11bn.

“Thanks to our strong market position, we have kept our sales stable in a clearly sluggish market environment,” said Continental CEO, Elmar Degenhart. “Our stricter cost discipline contributed to our solid results.”

As announced at the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting on 26 April, Continental continues to expect a market upturn in the second half of the year and is maintaining its annual guidance issued at the beginning of January.

“The start to the new fiscal year was challenging, as expected,” added Continental CFO, Wolfgang Schäfer.

“We did, however, already start to heighten our cost discipline last year. We are benefiting from this now.”

In the first quarter, capital expenditure for research and development, as well as property, plant, equipment and software came to more than EUR1.5bn.

“Continental is continuing to invest heavily in the mobility of the future, and thus in its future business success,” said Schäfer.