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Veoneer shares rise as record high 2018 orders reassure

(Adds background, detail, shares, additional company comment)

STOCKHOLM, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Sweden's Veoneer saw strong demand in the final months of the year which helped it achieve a record high order intake in 2018, up by around 40 percent from 2017, the auto parts supplier said on Tuesday .

Veoneer shares rose 8 percent in early Stockholm trade yet are still down more than 40 percent over the past three months amid widespread gloom in global car markets.

Veoneer pushed back its sales and margin targets for 2020 in October, partly blaming production delays at customers struggling with tougher regulations and faltering demand.

"I am pleased with our order intake for 2018. It marks the third consecutive year of strong order intake growth," Chief Executive Jan Carlson said in a statement.

Veoneer's products typically have a lead time of 2-4 years from order to delivery. The company makes radars, vision systems and advanced driver assistance systems, as well as restraint control and braking systems.

It has raised spending sharply over the past two years with a big boost to staffing in research and development.

Veoneer said it estimated the total lifetime value of the 2018 orders at $5.9 billion, corresponding to an average annual order value of more than $1.2 billion. That compares with $1.1 billion by the end of the third quarter.

For active safety, Veoneer's growth engine, order intake almost doubled from 2017, reaching an annual average order value of close to $900 million.

"In line with Veoneer’s previous communication, this indicates future market share growth in active safety," it said.

(Reporting by Johannes Hellstrom and Olof Swahnberg; editing by Jason Neely)