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Autoliv's CEO Discusses Q3 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

During the quarter, we also expanded our product offerings in active safety by acquiring 77-gigahertz radar technology from ASTYX, a market leader in long-range radar technology. This acquisition complements our already strong market position in radar which, along with our vision systems, continued to show exceptional growth.

In the emerging markets, we continue to have double-digit growth even when the light vehicle production is somewhat slowing.

Lastly, as to the anti-trust investigations, I can only say that they are still ongoing and that we therefore will not provide any additional information at this time.

On to the next page, we achieved record sales, gross profit and EBIT for the third quarter. Our organic sales growth of 9% was 4 percentage points better than the global light vehicle production and was in line with our expectations at the beginning of the quarter.

We achieved an EBIT margin of 10.4%, excluding 20 basis points or $5 million of expenses related to the ongoing investigation. We therefore exceeded our guidance despite currency revaluation effect. And lastly, our earnings per share, return on capital employed, return on equity, operating cash flow and EBIT margin were all the second best in the history of our company for the third quarter.

Turning the page, our cash from operations was $192 million for the quarter. This strong cash flow performance has allowed us to reduce our net debt to $41 million. Our capital expenditures of $86 million were 4.3% of sales.

The full-year 2011 CapEx expectations remain at approximately $375 million or 4.5% of sales. Approximately $150 million of these capital expenditures are required to support our rapid growth in the emerging market and active safety. While focusing on growth opportunities, we remain shareholder-friendly as illustrated on the next slide, where we have our dividend trend.

Since reinstating the dividend in the second quarter last year, we had increased the dividend per share by 50%. The dividend payment in the third quarter of a little more than $40 million is a 29% increase from the previous high in quarter three 2007. Over the last 12 months we have returned approximately one third of our free cash flow to shareholders through dividend payments.

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