February 23, 2011 / 10:20 PM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 2-Magna back in profit as auto production recovers

* Q4 EPS $0.88 vs loss $0.62/shr year ago

* Revenue 22 pct higher at $6.6 billion

* Increases dividend 39 pct

* Repeats January sales forecast for 2011 (Adds details, background)

VANCOUVER, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Magna International Inc (MG.TO) (MGA.N) returned to profit in the fourth quarter, the auto parts maker reported on Wednesday, as global vehicle production and sales continued to recover.

Magna reported net income of $216 million, or 88 cents a share in the quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with a loss of $139 million, or 62 cents a share, in the year-earlier period.

Sales were 22 percent higher at $6.6 billion.

Magna said the average dollar content per vehicle rose 17 percent in North America and 6 percent in Europe from a year earlier. Both North American and European vehicle production increased 7 percent.

Magna said it generated cash from operations of $415 million in the fourth quarter.

The company, the world’s third-biggest auto parts maker, also hiked its dividend by 39 percent to 25 cents a share.

“In 2010, Magna benefited from a strong recovery in vehicle production, both in our primary markets of North America and Western Europe, as well as globally,” Chief Executive Don Walker said.

“We are positioned to capitalize on continued growth in global vehicle production in 2011 and beyond, as we further expand our manufacturing footprint in a number of growing regions of the world,” he said in a statement.

Magna repeated the 2011 sales forecast it made last month. It sees sales of $25.6 billion to $27.1 billion this year, based on a forecast for full-year light vehicle production of 12.9 million units in North America and 13.3 million units in Western Europe.

The company also said it expects to spend between $1 billion and $1.1 billion on fixed assets in 2011.

Aurora, Ontario-based Magna’s main business is the production of parts and components for major auto companies, but it also assembles complete vehicles in Europe.

Magna competes against suppliers such as TRW Automotive Hldg Corp TRW.N, Johnson Controls Inc (JCI.N), Lear Corp (LEA.N), American Axle (AXL.N), and BorgWarner Inc (BWA.N).

$1=$0.99 Canadian Reporting by Nicole Mordant; editing by Rob Wilson

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