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Autoliv's CEO Discusses Q4 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Despite the lower-than-anticipated organic sales growth, we achieved an EBIT margin of 11%, including $6 million of expenses related to the ongoing antitrust investigations.

And lastly, for the fourth quarter, our earnings per share, return on capital employed, return on equity, operating cash flow and EBIT margin were all second best ever.

Turning the page, we achieved record sales, gross profit, EBIT and earnings per share for the full year. This was despite significant commodity headwinds and/or RD&E investments for active safety growth along with the negative effects of two natural disasters and ongoing antitrust investigations.

Our organic sales growth of 9% was almost three times better than global light vehicle production. In addition, we had a 2% sales benefit from the acquisitions during 2011. Return on capital employed, return on equity, operating cash flow along with EBIT margin were all the second best in the history of our company for a full year.

Turning the page, our cash flow from operations was $293 million in the quarter and $758 million for full year 2011. This strong cash flow has allowed us to reduce our debt and create shareholder value by investing in future growth initiatives while increasing the dividend to record levels. During the year, we more than doubled our dividend payment to $154 million from $58 million in 2010.

Capital expenditures were $100 million for the fourth quarter and $357 million for the full year. $135 million of these capital expenditures or close to 40% were used to support our growth initiatives. Looking ahead, we anticipate CapEx to be approximately 4.5% of sales in 2012.

The working capital percentage remained very low at 6.2% of sales despite increase in our operating working capital to support sales growth. Our strong cash flow performance over the last several years has resulted in our strongest balance sheet ever as illustrated if we turn to page.

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