Lear's first-quarter profits rise 12%; 2014 outlook raised

DETROIT (Reuters) -- Lear Corp. reported a 12 percent rise in first-quarter profits, driven by an increase in global vehicle production, and raised its full-year sales outlook.

The company's first-quarter net profit rose 12 percent to $122 million, or $1.47 per share, from $108.5 million, or $1.13 per share, a year earlier, Lear said today.

Excluding special items, the automotive supplier earned $1.84 per share during the latest period.

Revenue rose 10 percent to $4.36 billion.

Global vehicle production increased 5 percent from a year ago. Production was up 6 percent in North America and 7 percent in Europe and Africa, Lear said.

Ford Motor Co., General Motors and BMW AG are Lear's largest customers and represented about 54 percent of its sales in 2013.

Lear now expects 2014 sales in the range of $17.2 billion to $17.7 billion, up from its previous estimate of $16.9 billion to $17.4 billion.

Analysts on average were expecting revenue of $17.30 billion for the full year, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

"With a strong start to 2014, we are on track to deliver our fifth consecutive year of higher sales and earnings per share," Lear CEO Matt Simoncini said in a statement.

Analysts on average expected first-quarter earnings of $1.70 per share on revenue of $4.29 billion.