Magna International has reported operating income of $US286m for the second quarter ended June 30, 2006 - down 11% compared to $323m a year previously.

Q2 net income was off 14% to $193m from $225m in Q2 2005.

Earnings per share were $1.75 for the second quarter compared to $2.06 last year.

The components-to-assembled-vehicles group nonetheless posted record sales of $6.4bn in the second quarter, an increase of 9% year on year.

This reflected increases of 12% in North American average dollar content per vehicle and 10% in Europe. During the second quarter, North American vehicle production was relatively unchanged while European vehicle production declined 1%.

Complete vehicle assembly sales (for BMW and Chrysler from Magna Steyr in Graz, Austria) increased 2% to $1.075bn while vehicle assembly volumes also increased 2%.

Operating income for the first half rose 3% to $595m and net income was up 2% to $405m.

H1 earnings per share were $3.66 compared with $3.73 a year ago.

Magna also posted record sales for the first half: up 7% to $12.4bn. This reflected increases of 9% in North American average dollar content per vehicle and 8% in European average dollar content per vehicle. North American vehicle production increased 2%, while European vehicle production declined 2%.

Complete vehicle assembly volumes increased 16% but, as a result of the weakening of the euro against the US dollar and a slight decline in volumes for vehicles accounted for on a full-cost basis, complete vehicle assembly sales declined 3% or $65m to $2.115bn.

Co-chief executive officer Don Walker said: "Our strong sales growth in the second quarter was achieved as a result of our recent investments in new facilities, new programs and acquisitions.

"However, our results continue to be impacted by a number of industry challenges, including declining production volumes on certain key vehicle programmes, ongoing price pressures from our customers and high commodity costs."