Autoliv has unveiled third quarter operating profit of US$197m, despite organic sales growth of 2% instead of an expected 4%.

The lower than expected growth was mainly due to the accelerating decline in the European market and a labour strike in South Korea. 

Consolidated sales declined by slightly more than 3% to US$1.9bn due to negative currency effects of 5%. Operating income amounted to US$187m with an operating margin of 9.6%.

Income before taxes amounted to US$175m, net income to US$118m and earnings per share assuming dilution to US$1.23. 

Cash flow from operations amounted to US$131m and to US$32m before financing. 

For the fourth quarter, Autoliv said it expects organic sales growth in the range of 0%-2% and flat consolidated sales with an operating margin of around 9%, excluding costs for capacity alignments and the anti-trust investigations.

The expected organic sales growth is lower than indicated in July primarily due to the accelerated deterioration in European LVP and the tension between Japan and China affecting the Japanese vehicle manufacturers in China. 

In response to the accelerating drop in European LVP, Autoliv said it forecasts capacity alignment costs for the full year, 2012, to reach the higher end of the US$60m-US$80m range communicated in July.