UPDATE 2-Magna raises sales forecast after profit beat, Europe recovery

Fri Aug 9, 2013 1:21pm EDT
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* Expects 2013 total sales of $33.3 bln-$34.7 bln

* Sees 2013 total production sales of $27.7 bln-$28.7 bln

* 2nd-quarter earnings per share $1.78 vs est $1.64

* Sales rise 16.1 pct to $8.96 bln vs est $8.56 bln (Adds CFO interview, conference call details on Europe turnaround, M&A outlook)

By Solarina Ho

Aug 9 (Reuters) - Canadian auto parts maker Magna International Inc reported a 19 percent rise in its quarterly profit on Friday and raised its sales outlook for the year, buoyed by better-than-expected European and North American earnings.

The results sent Magna's stock, which have soared some 70 percent so far this year on the Toronto Stock Exchange, to an all-time high on Friday.

Magna's core business posted a double-digit rise in sales in Europe, where Magna has been pushing to turn around inefficient operations amid the region's soft recovery. The company said it is continuing to take steps to improve its business in Europe.

"It has taken a lot of hard work and there is certainly more to come, but we are headed in the right direction in Europe," Chief Executive Don Walker said, adding that he expects continued improvement in the coming quarters.   Continued...