Faurecia SA has predicted that vehicle production in its key European market is likely to fall by 2.6% this year after a 2.2% drop in 2003, preventing any increase in the French car parts company’s revenue, according to Reuters.

Company chairman Pierre Levi also reportedly said that Faurecia will continue the gradual improvement of its operating margin with the objective of reaching the level of 5% that the company considers a proper return on equity.

Reuters noted that Faurecia returned to profitability in 2003 and managed to improve its operating margin to 3.0% of sales from 2.6% in 2002.

The company reported a 2003 net profit of €10.1 million compared with a loss of €59.1 million a year earlier, thanks to reduced restructuring costs, lower debt-servicing and efforts to reduce start-up costs, as revenue rose 2.6% to €10.12 billion, the news agency report added.