Continental CEO says he is confident for 2014

A Continental tyre company logo is seen on the jacket worn by a former employee from the Continental tyre company of Clairoix, northern France, during a demonstration in Paris, November 23, 2013, to ask the company reinstate twenty-two employees at the Clairox factory as the Administration Court decreed last February. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German auto supplier Continental is confident for 2014 after reaching its increased financial 2013 targets, Chief Executive Elmar Degenhart has told a newspaper.

Next year will be "generally positive", Degenhart told the financial daily Handelsblatt, according to an advance release from Monday's edition.

He said growth in Asia and North America was likely to continue, while the situation in Europe would at least not worsen. "But how strong growth will be (in Europe) potentially can only be estimated after the first quarter."

The fourth quarter of 2013 went according to Continental's expectations, Degenhart told the newspaper, adding that the group had met its profitability goal.

In early November, Continental lifted its group margin target for 2013 to at least 10.5 percent as its business in Europe stabilised and its tyre division posted a record profit margin in the third quarter.

(Reporting by Arno Schuetze; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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