Continental, a leading technology company, has announced strong results for the third quarter of 2023, exceeding expectations with significant improvements in operating profit and adjusted free cash flow. The company's automotive group sector performed particularly well, with its adjusted EBIT margin increasing to 2.8% compared to 2.5% in the previous quarter. This improvement was driven by price adjustments, high cost discipline, and stabilised supply chains.
Overall, Continental achieved consolidated sales of €10.2 billion in the third quarter, an increase of 7.1% compared to the same period in 2022. The company's adjusted operating profit reached €637 million, up 1.5% from the previous year. Adjusted free cash flow was €466 million, a significant improvement from the €496 million loss recorded in the third quarter of 2022.
Continental has also adjusted its sales outlook for the automotive group sector and consolidated sales due to ongoing negative exchange-rate effects. The company now expects sales in the automotive group sector to be between €20.0 billion and €21.0 billion, and consolidated sales to be between €41.0 billion and €43.0 billion.
Despite declining volumes in the tire-replacement business, the Tires group sector also performed well in the third quarter. Sales were down year-on-year at €3.4 billion, but the adjusted EBIT margin increased to 13.2%, reflecting the continued high share of premium tires and lower raw material costs.
The ContiTech group sector also recorded a stable quarter, with sales of €1.7 billion and an adjusted EBIT margin of 6.6%. The company opened a new TechCenter for hydrogen technologies in Hamburg-Harburg, which will be used as a collaborative platform for sharing knowledge internally and externally.
Continental also won another sustainability award for its UltraContact NXT tire, which was recognized for its high share of sustainable materials, maximum safety, and performance. The company also presented its SPACE D design concept, which focuses on sustainability, design, and function.
Overall, Continental's third-quarter results were strong and exceeded expectations. The company is well-positioned for continued success in the future, thanks to its strong product portfolio, focus on innovation, and commitment to sustainability.