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Car, Truck Parts Sales Give TRW Record Quarter


TRW posted record first-quarter earnings as the weaker dollar contributed to strong foreign sales of car and truck parts, the company said.

The Cleveland-based diversified manufacturer earned $61.9 million on sales of $1.49 billion in the first quarter, a 9.3% profit increase on a 4.2% increase in sales over the year-earlier period.

"Our electronics and space system and car and truck segments had a very good first quarter," said Ruben F. Mettler, chairman and chief executive. "Our other business, primarily in the depressed energy services industry, experienced lower results."

Return on equity in the first quarter was 23.5%, up from 12.8% a year ago. Mettler added that he expects 1986 to be a "strong year for TRW."

The first-quarter profit increase was led by the firm's car and truck segment, which earned an operating profit of $71.9 million, a 34.5% increase over last year. Sales were up 10.9%.

"The sizable sales increase was due largely to a weaker U.S. dollar and stronger sales in the European market, " the company said. "Operating profits were helped by improved operating performance, a weaker U.S. dollar and the sales of surplus facilities."

Meanwhile, sales at TRW's energy and other businesses sank 27.2% to $74 million. Operating profit was down 55.4%. The firm recorded a 5.7% increase in operating profit in its electronics and space business.

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