Autoliv has reported that its net profit rose to $53 million in the second quarter 2002, up 22% from the year-earlier period, buoyed by strong sales and the effects of a restructuring programme.

The company achieved record sales in the quarter of $1.17 billion, up 13% on the year-earlier period.

Pre-tax profit rose 20% on the year to $82 million while earnings per share were up 20% to $0.53 a share.

On the back of a 2% increase in global light vehicle production, the company’s organic sales rose by 7%. Including an acquisition and currency effects, Autoliv’s reported sales grew by 13% to a new record level of $1.2 billion.

During the three-month period April through June 2002, light vehicle production increased in the Triad (i.e. Europe, North America and Japan) by approximately 2% compared to last year’s second quarter.

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In Western Europe, where Autoliv generates half of its revenues, vehicle production is estimated to have declined by 1% due to weak markets, particularly in Italy, Spain and Germany. However, two of Autoliv’s larger customers, BMW and Peugeot/Citroen, increased their production. BMW boosted its production by 20%, partly due to the new Mini, to which Autoliv is the supplier of the complete safety system.

In North America, which accounts for one-third of Autoliv’s revenues, light vehicle production rose by 5%. GM’s production rose by 12% and Ford’s production by 2%, while DaimlerChrysler’s production declined by 5% from the relatively high level in the comparable quarter 2001. Production of light trucks rose by 8%, while the passenger car segment – to which Autoliv is more exposed – increased by just over 1%.

Autoliv also says that safety content per vehicle continues its steady increase. It is expected that during the next several years this effect will continue to contribute about 5 percentage points annually to the growth of the global safety systems market.