Continental has confirmed its forecast for fiscal 2012, raised after the first half, despite increasing uncertainty, particularly in Europe, and a global slowdown.

“Based on the first nine months, we still expect consolidated sales to increase by over 7% to over EUR32.5bn for fiscal 2012. We also target to achieve an EBIT margin above last year’s very strong level, as previously announced,” said chairman Elmar Degenhart.

“After the positive overall development in the first three quarters, the start to the fourth quarter of 2012 has not given us any additional major cause for concern. Our current information indicates that consolidated sales from October to December are likely to be at least as high as in the third quarter of this year”, said Degenhart.

“However, it is clear that the road is becoming rockier and we must keep our eye on the development of the markets. We are currently benefiting considerably from our international positioning and compensating for the declines in southern Europe in particular with growth in North America and Asia.”

In the first nine months of this year, Continental increased sales 9.1% year-on-year to EUR24.6bn. EBIT rose EUR437m or 22.8% to EUR2.4bn in the same period. The margin was 9.6%, compared to 8.5%. Adjusted EBIT increased EUR434m or 19.5% year-on-year to almost EUR2.7bn equivalent to 10.9% of adjusted sales after 9.9% in the same period of the previous year.

In the first nine months of 2012, net income was up 62.5% to almost EUR1.5bn, corresponding to earnings per share of EUR7.26 after EUR4.47 per share in the previous year.