Supplier Veoneer said its financial results for the fourth quarter of 2019 were "in line with, or better than, our expectations".

Sales declined 15% year on year to US$456m with active safety revenue off 22%.

The company booked an operating loss of $72m, slightly reduced compared with the $75m loss in Q4, 2018.

Full year 2019 sales fell to $1,902m from $2,228m in 2018.

The operating loss increased considerably to $460m from $197m.

Full year 2020 sales are expected to increase by "mid-single digits", driven mainly by active safety and brake systems.

"Market adjustment initiatives continue to drive underlying cost structure and balance sheet improvements," Veoneer said in a statement.

Its order book at the end of 2019 remained around US$19bn despite around 9% lower global light vehicle production (LVP) assumptions for 2020 to 2025,

The 2019 order intake was around $550m of average annual sales with active safety accounting for about 70% or $2.5bn of product lifetime sales.

The VNBS JV (Asia Operations) divestiture closed on 3 February, 2020, delivering cash proceeds of about $170m.

"Order intake for 2020 is estimated to be approximately $1bn of average annual sales for our core electronics segment," Veoneer said.

Jan Carlson, chairman, president and CEO, added: "Organic sales in the quarter were in line with our expectations at the beginning of the quarter, despite some weakness in the LVP.

"Our operating loss was lower than expected at the beginning of the quarter, primarily due to continuing cost control activities across the company, particularly with respect to customer reimbursements and control of our RD&E costs. In general, our market adjustment initiatives are continuing to positively impact our cost structure.

"During 2020 we intend to take further actions under our market adjustment initiative programme. These actions include: further partnering, further focusing our product portfolio, reviewing certain customer contracts, and a continued focus on other cost improvement initiatives.

"We are also continuing to define the scope and priorities of Zenuity, where the Polestar 2 and the Volvo XC 40 Recharge, both launching in the upcoming months, will be the first two vehicles with the full Zenuity software suite for collaborative driving. This is a major milestone and achievement for Zenuity.

"2020 is a major customer launch year for Veoneer and we are gearing up for the launch of our fourth generation vision systems during the first half of the year. The bulk of the launches, and importantly the higher delivery volumes, are concentrated toward the second half of the year which is when we expect Veoneer to return to organic sales growth.

"We are basing our 2020 outlook on our core active safety and restraint control systems businesses and our VBS US operations brake systems business, as we completed the divestiture of the Asian operations of our VNBS joint venture as part of an on-going strategic review of our brake business.

"In the early part of January, we participated to the Consumer Electronics Show where we showcased our latest solutions in collaborative driving, which further confirmed our decision to focus our sales, operations and development on active safety solutions where the driver remains involved.

"Customer feedback to our approach is very positive and we expect to win significant, profitable orders with our focused, refined active safety portfolio throughout 2020.

"For the next several quarters our focus is on preparing for: successful customer launches in 2020 and heading into 2021, market adjustment initiatives to continue to drive efficiencies and improve cash flow, and continuing to win profitable new business."

Turning to the current coronavirus outbreak, he added: "We are currently monitoring and taking appropriate actions on a daily basis related to the effects from the coronavirus outbreak in China.

"To date we are not aware of any cases of the virus with our employees, however it is too early to assess the effects on our China business as this is an ongoing situation."