Automotive safety company Autoliv has posted its highest ever first quarter operating income and margin of US$195 million and 11.4% respectively.

The results come on the back of a consolidated sales recovery of 86% to $1.72bn.

Excluding currency effects, acquisitions and more production days, sales grew organically by 64%, compared to an increase in global light vehicle production of 47%.

Income before taxes improved to US$179m, while net income attributable to controlling interest was US$127m.

Operations generated a positive cash flow of US$149m compared to a negative cash flow of $9 million in the first quarter 2009.

For the second quarter of 2010, Autoliv says it expects consolidated net sales to rise by more than 40% compared to the same quarter of 2009, with organic sales growing by at least 30% and anticipates an operating margin of at least 11%.

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For the full year, sales are expected to improve by close to 30% with organic sales growing by approximately 20%.

Indicative operating margin for the full year is at least 10% added Autoliv.