Autoliv sees profits rise

Swedish auto safety systems maker Autoliv Inc. said on Tuesday first-quarter profit rose 11 percent, helped by favourable foreign currency exchange and revenue growth outside North America.

Profit rose to $81.5 million, or $1.11 per share, from $73.2 million, or 91 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose nearly 8 percent to $1.83 billion from $1.7 billion, helped by higher sales of air bags and seat belts, along with a 15 percent rise in light vehicle production in Eastern Europe.

In North America, however, production cuts from General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC caused light vehicle production to decline around 9 percent.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial forecast earnings of 98 cents per share and sales of $1.79 billion for the quarter.

The company predicts second-quarter sales will increase by 14 percent.

Autoliv also raised its full-year 2008 sales forecast to 10 percent from 7 percent previously because of the weaker dollar.