Valeo has reported consolidated net income of €120 million for the first half of 2004, up 17.6% compared with the same period in 2003.


Net income before taxes increased 12.8% due to the double impact of a reduction in net financial charges (of 29%) and a fall of 8% in other income and expenses, which totalled €62 million.


An exceptional tax gain of €83 million was booked in 2004, related to the tax rebate received from the French authorities concerning the capital gains from the 1999 disposal of the group’s interest in LuK.


Operating income increased 4.1% to €251 million, representing 5.1% of sales compared to 5.0% for the year earlier period. The improvement was due to strict control of administrative costs.


Consolidated gross margin for the six month period was €883 million, an increase of 2.3% compared with first half 2003.


The gross margin was 17.9% of sales, an improvement of 0.1%, achieved despite strong pressure from raw materials prices particularly in the second quarter.


Consolidated sales were €4,928 million euros, an increase of 1.7%.


Valeo’s debt was €390 million at the end of the first half, down €178 million compared with December 31, 2003.