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BERLIN, April 26 (Reuters) - German auto parts supplier Schaeffler expects sales at its industrial division to return to growth in the first quarter after three years of declines, its chief executive said.
Growth in automotive operations continues to outpace global car markets, but it will be difficult to maintain strong margins because of rising steel prices, high R&D costs and increasing competition, Chief Executive Klaus Rosenfeld said at the company's annual general meeting in Nuremberg on Wednesday.
Schaeffler is due to publish first-quarter results on May 11. (Reporting by Andreas Cremer; Editing by Maria Sheahan)