Continental has posted a 2019 net income loss attributable to the shareholders of the parent of EUR1.23bn (US$1.4bn), with sales fractionally up 0.2% at EUR44.5bn.
“Continental continues to outperform its markets even in challenging times,” said Continental chairman, Elmar Degenhart.
“Last year the entire automotive industry suffered a clear downturn. In operational terms we put in a respectable performance overall, but ultimately the 2019 result, particularly in the automotive business, was not satisfactory.”
For 2020, Continental does not anticipate any recovery in the economic environment. The supplier expects global production of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles in 2020 to decrease for the third year in a row. It is likely to decline by 2% to 5% year-on-year.
These estimates take into account the impact of the coronavirus on production volumes, as can be determined to date. Continental currently expects global production to decrease by more than 10% year-on-year in the first three months of this fiscal year.
In China, the decrease is likely to be at least 30% in this period. The market forecast does not include possible further disruptions to production and the supply chain as well as demand as a result of the continuing spread of the coronavirus. Such disruptions cannot be gauged at the current time however, adds Continental.
“2020 will be a transition year in our structural transformation,” added Degenhart. “Our structural programme and our new organisational structure will bring significant progress in the medium term.
“The uncertainty in the industries that are relevant for us is growing rapidly. An economic recovery will take longer than anticipated.”