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By Gilles Guillaume
PARIS, April 20 (Reuters) - Faurecia’s first quarter sales fell by 13.5% due to the coronavirus crisis, the French car parts maker said on Monday, adding that it hoped for a full return to full capacity at its Chinese factories by May.
The company, which is 46% owned by French carmaker PSA , said its sales had fallen to 4.33 billion euros ($4.69 billion) and it expected the second quarter to be difficult in Europe and the United States.
“Our sales in the first quarter were strongly impacted by the global COVID-19 pandemic. This crisis impacted China throughout the quarter, with a peak in February, and then the rest of the world from March,” CEO Patrick Koller said.
The transport and autos sectors have been hit hard by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and last month Faurecia dropped its financial forecasts, and has since arranged a 800 million euro loan.
“While China has effectively and safely restarted, we expect the second quarter to be tougher in Europe and North America. The second half of the year should show sequential improvement,” Koller said in a statement.
Faurecia’s finance director Michel Favre said on a conference call that Faurecia expected its Chinese factories to return to 100% capacity by the end of May.
After an initial fall, shares in Faurecia were up 4% to 32.50 euros at 0853 GMT. The stock has fallen by almost 40% so far in 2020. ($1 = 0.9223 euros) (Reporting by Gilles Guillaume; Editing by Jason Neely and Alexander Smith)