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Autoliv Targets Annual Sales Gains of 5% or More on China

May 14 (Bloomberg) -- Autoliv Inc., the world’s largest maker of automotive air bags and seat belts, is targeting annual revenue growth of 5 percent or more in the next five years because of gains in Chinese and U.S. car sales.

The supplier plans to at least match global market gains that it forecasts at about 5 percent annually, the Stockholm-based company said in a statement today. Autoliv aims to achieve an operating margin in the period of 8 percent to 9 percent of sales, it said. The stock climbed to the highest in more than two years.

“The long-term targets we are communicating today should allow us to further strengthen our No. 1 position in the automotive-safety industry, while providing competitive returns to our shareholders,” Chief Executive Officer Jan Carlson said in the statement.

The manufacturer is targeting growth in China, where it plans to increase its market share for air bags and seat belts in 2015 to 37 percent from 35 percent last year, and in the U.S. to offset a severe slump in European automotive demand. China and the U.S. are the world’s two largest car markets.

Autoliv gained as much as 15.50 kronor, or 3 percent, to 534.50 kronor, the highest intraday price since Jan. 28, 2011, and was trading up 1.1 percent at 9:43 a.m. in Stockholm. The stock has climbed 21 percent this year, valuing the supplier at 50.1 billion kronor ($7.55 billion).

To contact the reporter on this story: Chad Thomas in Berlin at cthomas16@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Reiter at creiter2@bloomberg.net

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