Rising global demand for cars – and the Continental Tyres which many of them run on – boosted half year profits at the Germany automotive giant.

In a statement issued to the German stock exchange, Continental announced that in the first six months of the financial year, automotive sales rose by 10.9% compared to the previous year – to €16.5 billion.

At the same time, earnings before tax (EBIT – a measure of profit rose almost 26% to €1.6 billion, with an EBIT margin of 9.7%, against 8.6% a year ago. Adjusted for acquisition-related amortization and special effects,  EBIT rose to more than €1.8 billion, up from just under €1.5 billion. The adjusted EBIT margin is 11.1%  – compared to 10% a year ago.

Continental Executive Board Chairman Dr. Elmar Degenhart, said; “Based on the successful first half of the year, we are confident that we will comfortably achieve the goals we have set for the year.”

The company’s share price roared ahead by more than 10% on the announcement – which included details of a 40% gain in profits in its core tyre division, and City analysts predict a good second-half performance for Continental.