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Autoliv's CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

On to the next page, our sales increase of slightly more than 3% was one percentage point better than our guidance. The year-over-year margin decline of approximately 2% was due to higher raw material and R&D expense and our facility investments for growth along with underutilized facilities in Europe as a consequence of the sharp decline in light vehicle production. The negative raw material price effect of $15 million was in line with our expectation and should remain flat throughout the remainder of the year. Excluding the effects of the capacity alignment costs, our return on capital employed and return on equity remain very strong at 26 and 17% respectively.

And lastly, our dividend paid to shareholders in the first quarter of $0.45 per share was the highest ever, and the total dividend amount paid was 29% higher than the previous high before the financial crisis in 2007. Since reinstating the dividend in 2010, we have returned almost one-third of our free cash flow to shareholders.

Turning the page, we have the quarter one light vehicle production according to IHS. The light vehicle production was up 6% year-over-year. Our organic sales growth of 5% was according to our guidance. We continued to outperform global light vehicle production in regions except North America and Japan, and that’s due to the tsunami rebound effect. Since we have relatively low content in Japanese vehicles, this creates a temporary negative effect. Excluding the tsunami effect, we believe we would have outperformed the global light vehicle production with approximately 2%.

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