Growth in the First Half of 2006

(PresseBox) ( Stuttgart, )
In the first half of 2006, the Behr Group registered an increase in sales of seven percent or 100 mil. euros to 1.64 bil. euros. The number of employees rose slightly, to 18,431 (Dec. 31, 2005: 18,103). The companies in South Africa, China und Brazil were primary contributors to this increase in employment. 7,079 people were employed in Germany as of June 30, 2006 (Dec. 31, 2005: 7,039). Investments of 68 mil. euros were seven percent below the level of the previous year (73 mil. euros). Approximately a third was invested in Germany. The main focus was on the new plants in Mexico and India as well as start of production for new series in South Africa, the United States and Germany.

One reason for the increase in sales was the relatively positive development of the automotive industry - in the passenger car sector, mainly in Europe and the growth markets, as well as in the commercial vehicle sector worldwide. Behr continued to expand its strong position in the commercial vehicle sector, primarily in engine cooling. Joint venture HBPO's front-end module sales also experienced strong growth. Regionally, Behr Brasil and Behr Czech showed the largest increase. Behr is further expanding its position in the Eastern European market by constructing an additional plant in Ostrava, Czech Republic. …

A continuation of the market dynamics is not to be expected for the second half of 2006. Markus Flik, CEO of Behr: "For this reason, we expect sales and profit in 2006 to be on the same level as in the previous year." (2005: sales 3,052 mil. euros, profits 92 mil. euros).
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