Lear Corporation, automotive seating and electrical power management system supplier, booked first quarter up 20% to US$3.5bn and operating profit up 48% to $205m in the seventh consecutive quarter of year on year improvement.

"In the first quarter, global industry production improved 5% from a year ago, reflecting growth in most of the world's major markets partially offset by a 32% decline in Japan, where production was disrupted following the [March] earthquake and tsunami," Lear said in a statement.

"Our positive momentum continued in the first quarter.  Both of our business units reported increased sales and earnings."

Net income per share was $1.46 versus $0.61 in the first quarter of 2010.

Seating sales were up 18% to $2.7bn. Electrical power management systems sales were up 26% to $786.7m.

"The earthquake and tsunami... have adversely impacted portions of the automotive industry outside of Japan, leading to intermittent customer production downtime and continued shortages of certain electronic components.  Although there is uncertainty regarding the ultimate impact of these events, at this time we expect to experience an indirect impact that could be significant during the second quarter, but do not anticipate a significant impact for the full year," the supplier said.

"After taking into account global industry developments that have occurred since our prior outlook and the near-term production uncertainty related to the disaster in Japan, we are reaffirming our 2011 outlook for core operating earnings.

"Our assumptions for industry vehicle production in our major markets remain unchanged from our prior outlook, and include production of 17.4m units in Europe, 12.5m units in North America and 15.7m units in China.  In Japan, our industry vehicle production assumption is 7.1m units, down 1.6m units from our prior outlook."

Lear expects 2011 net sales in the range of $13.0 to $13.4bn, up $400m from its previous outlook, primarily reflecting a change in the Euro assumption included in the forecast. The  operating earnings forecast remains unchanged at $700 to $740m. Net income is expected in the range of $505 to $545m earnings per share $4.70 to $5.05.