DETROIT -- Lear Corp. saw first quarter revenue increase by more than a third compared with the year-ago period as global car and truck production volumes continued to gain traction.
Lear, the world’s second-largest manufacturer of automotive seating systems, posted net income of $66.1 million on revenue of $2.94 billion in the first quarter, swinging from a $264.8 million net loss on revenue of $2.17 billion in the same period in 2009.
Driving the revenue increase was a 72 percent increase in North American vehicle production, as well as a 32 percent increase in Europe, a 20 percent increase in Brazil and a 65 percent production surge in China.
Lear posted a 32 percent sales increase in its seating business unit and a 50 percent jump in its burgeoning electrical power management component business, bringing sales in the unit to $625 million.
Lear also completed a refinancing that cut its debt load.
The company used $700 million in proceeds from two unsecured note sales and some of its cash on hand to repay $925 million in loan debt.
As of April 3, the company had about $1.3 billion in cash and $745 million in total debt. Lear shed about $2.8 billion in debt during its four month trip through Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It emerged from court protection in November.
Improving industry conditions pushed Lear to improve its 2010 outlook.
The company expects full-year revenue to be about $11 billion, up from its most recent projection of $10.2 billion to $10.7 billion. Lear also raised its vehicle production expectations to a rate of 11 million vehicles in North America, 15.8 million vehicles in Europe and 13.1 million vehicles in China.