CNBC Global CFO Council

Continental Tires CFO: Optimistic on China

Jessica Hartogs, Special to
A worker moves an automotive tire down a conveyor belt at the Continental Tire Sumter plant distribution warehouse in Sumter, South Carolina.
Luke Sharrett | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Amid a global "mixed picture" for the auto and tire industry, the chief financial officer for Continental Tires told CNBC that the German tire maker was "quite optimistic for this year in China," having experienced a strong first quarter there.

Speaking from Hannover, Germany, Wolfgang Schafer told CNBC that overall Europe is "doing OK" whereas the U.S. automotive production "will be stable this year."

Last month, the company reported a 3 percent increase in first-quarter sales to 9.85 billion euros ($11.2 billion) on the same period last year, with net profits up 11 percent to 733 million euros.

"So overall yes, it could be a good year for us as far as markets we are delivering in are concerned," said Schafer.

Schafer also told CNBC that surprisingly the Brazilian replacement tire market is "in quite good shape" and that the company is performing well there – helped by the weak real and low interest rates, adding that Continental is thinking of its next expansion in the South American country.

Schafer added that the impact of Britain exiting the European Union (Brexit) overall "would be very limited" for Continental, adding that the company does not produce very much in Great Britain.