Faurecia sales increased 3.7% to EUR2,589.1m in the third quarter of 2006 and dipped 0.3% at constant exchange rates, excluding monoliths. Exchange rate fluctuations had a negative impact of 0.4%.

In Europe, sales dropped 3.2%, excluding monoliths, as a result of the 14.6% decline in business with French automakers. Sales outside Europe continued to grow with a 9.5% increase in North America and a 41% increase in Asia.

Over the first nine months of the year, sales came to EUR8,568.7m, up 5.7%.

Excluding monoliths, sales dropped 0.2% at constant exchange rates.

Despite a 21% drop in sales with French automakers, automotive seating sales rose by 1.7%, and by 1.9% at constant exchange rates. Sales were boosted by the ramp up of production of the Audi Q7, BMW 3 series, Toyota Yaris and Ford Galaxy in Europe. This activity's sales also grew by 6.4% in North America and by 25% in Asia.

Over the first nine months of the year, automotive seating sales dropped by 1.3%, and by 2.2% at constant exchange rates.

Other vehicle interior sales declined by 6.2% in the third quarter, and by 5.6% at constant exchange rates. This was partly due to a 12% drop in business with French automakers, which was mitigated by the launch of production of the Peugeot 207. The activity was also buoyed by sales of the Audi Q7 and the Mercedes-Benz S class in Europe, along with Chrysler sales in North America.

Over the first nine months of the year, vehicle interior sales slipped 0.8% at constant exchange rates.

Exhaust systems enjoyed sales growth of 25.6%. This includes a 52.6% increase in monolith sales driven by the increased cost of precious metals, and the development of catalytic converters that comply with the Euro IV emission standards. Excluding monoliths, sales increased 6.3% at constant exchange rates, while currency fluctuations had a negative impact of 1.9%.

Excluding monoliths, sales in North America grew by 6.6% thanks to sales of the Ford Fusion and Ford Focus, and by 57% in Asia, bolstered by business with Hyundai-Kia, PSA Peugeot Citroën and Volkswagen.

Over the first nine months of the year, exhaust systems sales increased by 37.8%, and by 14% at constant exchange rates, excluding monoliths.

Front end sales were up 1.4% in the third quarter, buoyed by sales of the BMW 3 series and Renault Clio.

Over the first nine months of the year, front end sales decreased by 4.7%.

Given the outlook for fourth quarter sales, the continuing increase in the price of raw materials and difficulties in passing these costs on to customers, Faurecia expects its operating income to approach break-even in the second half of 2006.

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