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Auto parts maker Magna raises 2016 sales forecast

[TORONTO]Canadian auto parts maker Magna International Inc reported a higher-than-expected first-quarter profit and raised its full-year sales forecast for a second time, boosted by strong vehicle sales in North America and Europe.

Shares rose 2.7 per cent at C$52.59 in morning trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Auto sales have been strong so far this year, particularly in the United States, helped in part by low gasoline prices.

Magna, which bought German transmission parts maker Getrag to help automakers improve fuel efficiency, has a customer list that includes General Motors Co, Volkswagen AG , BMW and Ford Motor Co.

Net income from continuing operations attributable to Magna rose 8 percent to US$492 million, or US$1.22 per share, in the quarter ended March 31, beating analysts' average estimate of US$1.19 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Magna, which also assembles vehicles under contract, said sales rose about 14.5 per cent to US$8.90 billion. Excluding the impact of the US dollar, sales rose 19 per cent.

The Aurora, Ontario-based company forecast 2016 sales of US$35.5 billion-US$37.2 billion, higher than its forecast of US$34.6 billion-US$36.3 billion in January.

REUTERS