PARIS -- Europe's largest listed car-part maker Valeo posted a 60.1 percent fall in first-half net profit on Thursday due to high raw-material costs and a tax rebate last year.
For the second half of the year, the maker of clutches, windscreen wipers and parking gadgets forecast a drop of between 1 percent and 2 percent in light vehicle production in Europe and a slight increase in North America boosted by the growth of transplants, or sales to non-U.S. manufacturers in the United States.
Valeo has a goal of achieving higher sales than the benchmark automobile production.
Net profit totaled 73 million euros ($88.65 million) under new IFRS accounting rules compared with 183 million euros a year ago.
Operating profit was 153 million euros in the first six months of this year, compared with 222 million euros in the same period a year ago.
Sales rose 4.8 percent to 5.046 billion euros, partly helped by acquisitions. On a like-for-like basis, sales were down 1.2 percent.
For the second quarter alone, net profit was 48 million euros, and operating profit 98 million euros on sales of 2.722 billion euros.
Consensus estimates stood at 54 million euros for quarterly net profit and 92 million euros for operating profit, according to several analysts.
"In the second quarter, the group met its objective of having internal sales growth above that of automobile production in its reference markets," the statement said.
Valeo also said its margins have improved since the beginning of the year, but remained affected by raw material prices and pressure on prices.
Valeo ranks No. 25 on the Automotive News list of top 150 original equipment suppliers to North America with original equipment sales of $1.78 billion in 2004.