HERZOGENAURACH (dpa-AFX) - The automotive and industrial supplier Schaeffler has made significantly more profit than expected by experts in a difficult environment. Earnings before interest and taxes adjusted for special items in the first quarter fell by 4.1 percent year-on-year to 322 million euros, as the SDax company announced in Herzogenaurach on Tuesday. However, analysts had previously feared a much larger decline. At 7.9 percent, the corresponding operating margin was only 0.2 percentage points below the previous year's figure. Turnover fell by 1.6 percent to 4.09 billion euros due to currency effects. Adjusted for exchange rate effects, it would have remained stable. While the automotive supply and automotive spare parts business performed better, the division with rolling and ball bearings for general industry continued to cause problems.

"We are sticking to our outlook for the year as a whole," said Schaeffler CEO Klaus Rosenfeld. The manager believes that the integration of the acquired drive specialist Vitesco, whose merger with Schaeffler is to be completed this year, is continuing to progress well. On the bottom line, consolidated profit rose by almost 80 percent to 231 million euros. Special effects came to bear here, above all the company benefited from a better valuation of inventories./men/stk