Bosch has reported a 6% increase in sales  to EUR46.3bn in the 2007 financial year. After adjusting for currency effects, growth was 8%.

Profit before tax rose to EUR3.8bn, compared with EUR3.1bn the previous year, giving a pre-tax return on sales of 8.2% (up from 7.1% a year earlier).

In a statement prepared to coincide with the Bosch annual shareholder meeting today (8 May), management board chairman Franz Fehrenbach was cautiously optimistic about the outlook for 2008.

“The operating environment may have weakened, but we do not foresee a global downturn,” he said.

Bosch is forecasting 3% growth for the world economy during the year, with most of that coming from emerging markets.

Fehrenbach expects group sales to again increase by some 5% in 2008, despite the strong euro. The company also aims to once more achieve its target for pre-tax return on sales 7-8%. In the first four months of 2008, internal sales increased by a nominal 4%, and 7% after adjusting for currency effects.

Ferhrenbach highlighted the competition for young qualified people to help power the company’s growth. He said that emerging markets have an advantage over Germany as a result of this and that as a result Bosch considers education as one of the most important investments it can make.

He added that one of the main trends influencing the company’s future strategy is the scarcity and increasing cost of energy resources.

“Despite all the new finds, fossil energy reserves are finite. This fact, coupled with the worldwide climate goals, is a clarion call for a new dimension in energy efficiency,” he said.