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Hella's half-year sales rise by a fourth on strong demand

(Reuters) -German automotive lighting group Hella reported a 25.7% rise in half-year sales on Friday, citing continued high demand for its lighting and electronic products.

Sales for the first six months of its shortened fiscal 2022, came in at 3.8 billion euros ($4.12 billion), compared with 3.0 billion euros a year earlier.

Hella, which operates under the umbrella brand Forvia, has so far managed to pass rising costs onto customers through price increases, despite a weakening outlook for the automotive sector due to the prolonged Chinese lockdowns in 2022 and Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

It reported an adjusted operating profit of 202 million euros for the June to November period, up 29.5% from 156 million euros a year ago.

"The lighting and electronics business groups both grew at double-digit rates and strongly outperformed global light vehicle production, which has only increased by around 18% in the same period," Chief Executive Michel Favre said in a statement.

Hella changed its reporting period to January to December effective Jan. 1 due to its takeover by Faurecia in early 2022, inserting a transitional fiscal year running from June 1 to Dec. 31, 2022.

It confirmed its outlook for the period between June 2022 and May 2023.

($1 = 0.9228 euros)

(Reporting by Linda Pasquini in Gdansk; Editing by Milla Nissi)