Europe's largest listed car part maker, Valeo, posted a dip in third-quarter profit as industry woes and a weak dollar erased cost cuts, Reuters reported.

Net profit totalled a weaker-than-expected €25 million compared with €31 million a year ago and Valeo said it anticipated further market softening into 2004, the report added.

According to the news agency, citing a company statement, operating profit fell to €90 million compared with €105 million, sales dropped 6.9% to €2.086 billion and operating margin declined by 0.4 points to 4.3% of sales.

The company reportedly said its nine-month order intake was 1.3 times sales versus 1.2 times sales at end September 2002, but gave no other forecasts.

Chairman Thierry Morin reportedly noted the firm's nine-month operating margin was 4.8%, up from 4.6% last year, while analysts polled by Reuters had forecast net profit of €31 million and operating profit of €108 million on €2.09 billion euros in turnover.

As part of plans to fight a tough environment with cost cuts, Valeo said it had cut 2,100 jobs in the third quarter, Reuters noted.