Lear's net sales for the third quarter ended 26 September 2015 was up 2.31% to US$4.33bn compared with $4.23bn in the same period in 2015. Consolidated income before income taxes and equity in net income of affiliates increased by 31.3% to $259.5m compared with $197.7m. Net income attributable to Lear was up 29.2% to $181m compared with $140.1m in the year ago period.
Lear's net sales for the nine months ended 26 September 2015 was up 2.35% to $13.5bn compared with $13.2bn in the year ago period. Consolidated income before income taxes and equity in net income of affiliates increased by 27% to $722.1m compared with $568.4m. Net income attributable to Lear was up 24.3% to $510.2m compared with $410.6m in the same period in 2014.
"In the third quarter, we continued to deliver record financial results and further strengthened our core capabilities," said Matt Simoncini, Lear's president and chief executive officer. "Our purchase of intellectual property from Autonet Mobile complements our industry-leading technology in gateway modules and positions Lear as a leader in vehicle connectivity. The recent acquisitions of Guilford Performance Textiles and Eagle Ottawa Premium Leather combined with our world-class sewing and seat component capabilities provide Lear with a competitive advantage in seat design and craftsmanship. With the industry's low cost position and leading product capabilities in both of our business segments, we are well positioned to take advantage of major industry trends and profitable sales growth opportunities."
Full Year 2015 financial outlook
Lear has increased its full year 2015 financial outlook for earnings and free cash flow.
Our 2015 financial outlook is based on industry vehicle production assumptions of 17.5m units in North America, up 3% from the prior year, 21.3m units in Europe & Africa, up 3% from the prior year, and 21.7m units in China, up 2% from the prior year. Lear's financial guidance is based on an average full year exchange rate of $1.11/Euro, down 17% from 2014.
Sales in 2015 are expected to be approximately $18.2bn, consistent with the midpoint of our prior guidance. Core operating earnings are expected to be in the range of $1.27 to $1.30bn, up from the prior range of $1.225 to $1.275bn. Free cash flow is expected to be approximately $650m, up $25m from the prior guidance.
Pretax income before restructuring costs and other special items is estimated to be in the range of $1.17 to $1.20bn in 2015. Our effective tax rate is expected to be approximately 28%. Adjusted net income is expected to be in the range of $800 to $820m.
Depreciation and amortisation expense is estimated to be approximately $365m. The outlook for pretax operational restructuring costs and capital spending is approximately $85m and $500m, respectively.