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Valeo raises 2014 profit forecast

French car parts supplier Valeo has raised its full-year earnings forecast following a 21 percent rise in first-half profit, due mainly to overseas expansion and increased demand for fuel-saving technologies.

A 25 percent surge in new orders “confirms once again the company’s strong organic growth potential,” CEO Jacques Aschenbroich said in a statement.

Valeo said its net income through June rose to €278 million ($374 million) from €230 million in the first half of 2013. Buoyant sales in China and North America helped offset a slide in emerging-market currencies, the company said.

Valeo now expects to achieve an operating margin this year above 7 percent, an improvement on its previous pledge to match the 6.6 percent recorded in 2013, it said in the statement, issued Thursday.

The Paris-based company, which recently returned to France’s CAC-40 benchmark index, is well placed to benefit from tightening emissions and safety standards as well as future demand for self-driving cars.

Revenue rose 7 percent to 6.35 billion euros in the first six months this year, the company said. Operating income rose 15 percent to 442 million euros, lifting the operating margin on sales to 7 percent from 6.4 percent during the year-ago period.

This was achieved despite a “significant depreciation of emerging-market currencies, as well as the yen and the dollar, against the euro,” Valeo said. Foreign exchange effects reduced revenue by 3 percent.

The share of revenue generated outside western Europe still rose by one percentage point to 63 percent, with sales to vehicle makers in China up 29 percent and in North America up 23 percent. European sales rose a more modest 4 percent.