Loss grows at German car parts supplier

STUTTGART: Kolbenschmidt, a vehicle parts manufacturer 60 per cent owned by Metallgesellschaft, has reported a net loss of 123 million deutschemarks (about HK$544 million) for fiscal 1993, ended September 30, compared with a net loss of 90 million marks the preceding year.

Sales rose slightly in the year to 1.58 billion marks from 1.51 billion. The company will pay no dividend for 1993.

''The German car industry finds itself in the most difficult crisis since World War II,'' chief executive Heinrich Binder said in the annual report published yesterday.

''Like nearly all car suppliers, Kolbenschmidt is painfully affected by this crisis.'' Mr Binder said the result was not only affected by unsatisfactory sales and price pressure but was heavily burdened by costs for personnel reduction and reorganisation.

''In previous years, too much weight was placed on expansion and too little on efficiency,'' he said.

A significant improvement in the economic situation in the car industry was not in sight this year, Mr Binder said.

Metallgesellschaft has been hit by 3.3 billion marks in cumulative losses, attributed largely to oil futures speculation by its New York unit. Metallgesellschaft won approval from creditor banks earlier last month for a 3.4 billion mark rescue package.