UPDATE 2-Magna profit jumps as vehicle output picks up; div boosted

Mon Mar 3, 2014 12:17pm EST
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By Solarina Ho

Toronto, March 3 (Reuters) - Magna International Inc , one of the world's largest auto parts suppliers, said on Monday that quarterly profit jumped 31 percent, driven by a pickup in North America and Europe, and hiked its dividend.

Shares climbed more than 4 percent to a record as profit topped expectations.

Magna also trimmed the 2014 sales forecast for its core vehicle parts business due to a weakening Canadian dollar relative to the U.S. dollar, but maintained its total sales outlook.

"Overall we're pleased with Magna's performance in the fourth quarter," Chief Executive Officer Don Walker told analysts on a conference call. "And we anticipate ongoing strong results in North America in 2014."

The Aurora, Ontario-based company sees sales in the range of $28.4 billion to $29.7 billion for its parts business, slightly lower than the $28.6 billion-$29.9 billion it forecast in January.

Magna, which also manufactures complete vehicles on a contract basis, raised its sales forecast for the unit to $2.8 billion to $3.1 billion from $2.6 billion to $2.9 billion.