France’s Valeo third-quarter sales rise driven by key regions, businesses

By PierreJohn Felcenloben

(Reuters) -French car parts maker Valeo on Thursday reported higher sales in the third quarter and reaffirmed its full-year guidance, supported by auto production in key regions and a strong divisional performance.

The company, which focuses on the design and production of components and integrated systems for vehicles, reported a 4% like-for like sales increase to 5.22 billions euros, broadly in line with company consensus estimates for the quarter of 5.24 billion euros ($5.52 billion).

Valeo reaffirmed its full-year guidance of between 22-23 billion euros for sales and an operating margin in the range of 3.2-4% for end of 2023.

Original equipment, that is vehicle components fitted by a manufacturer as standard, grew 4% on a like-for-like basis during the quarter. Original equipment represents 85% of Valeo sales.

Aftermarket product sales, accounting for 11% of total sales, grew 3% on a like-for-like basis to 569 million euros.

Valeo’s Comfort & Driving Assistance Systems division led original equipment sales growth at 8%, with advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS), such as sensors and cameras to detect obstacles, increasing by 11% during the quarter to 793 million euros.

Valeo is betting on the acceleration of car electrification and the adoption of ADAS, as governments and companies shift towards a low-carbon economy, while the car industry experiments with the driverless car concept.

North America accounted for 21% of original equipment sales this quarter and recent UAW strikes in the United States have “had a negligible impact” on sales, the company said.

Chief Executive Christophe Périllat said during a call with journalists that the company has put in place efficiency plans to deal with strikes that “let us adapt to the real level of sales that we have.”

Valeo has 11 production sites and three development centres in the United States, with over 4,000 employees at the end of 2022.

($1 = 0.9493 euros)

(Reporting by Pierre John Felcenloben. Editing by Jane Merriman and Cynthia Osterman)