Magna posts loss on charges as sales rise

Thu Feb 25, 2010 5:12pm EST
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By John McCrank

TORONTO (Reuters) - Sales at Magna International Inc rose 12 percent in the latest quarter due to a more stable auto market, but the global auto parts supplier said on Thursday that various charges left it in the red.

Magna said it expects global vehicle production to increase this year, led by growth in North America, provided that the economic recovery stays on track.

"Forecast growth in North America vehicle productions would reverse the seven-year slide experienced in this critical vehicle market," Don Walker, Magna's co-chief executive, said in a conference call.

The quarterly loss reflected charges to pay for downsizing operations, due diligence associated with Magna's canceled investment in General Motors Corp's Opel and other costs.

"Excluding all these items, the results were more or less in line with expectations," Fadi Chamoun, an analyst at UBS Securities.

For the fourth quarter, Magna posted a loss of $139 million, or $1.25 a share. That was slightly less than a loss of $148 million, or $1.33, a year earlier.

Revenue came in at $5.42 billion, up 12 percent.

The Aurora, Ontario-based company also said it closed a deal to buy up the Japanese unit of its insolvent rival Karmann. It said it is still working to finalize the purchase of Karmann's roof business in Germany and Poland.   Continued...

<p>Magna International Inc. Chairman Frank Stronach walks past a sign on top of a Ford battery electric vehicle (BEV), which is being developed in partnership with Magna, during a news conference in Ottawa June 2, 2009. REUTERS/Chris Wattie</p>