US auto components group TRW Automotive yesterday reported a fourth-quarter profit as increased cost-cutting efforts bolstered the bottom line.
It came despite a dismal year for top American car makers.
The Michigan-based group still has a major base in Shirley in Birmingham despite the redevelopment of its once sprawling factory there.
A new development known as The Green has begun to transform the 57-acre site on the A34 Stratford Road.
The seat-belt and air-bag supplier reported fourth-quarter earnings of $59 million (£34 million), reversing a year-ago loss of $62 million.
Sales slipped 1.6 per cent to $3.1 billion (£1.78 billion) in the December period, but without the impact of currency translations, TRW said quarterly sales would have improved three per cent from last year.
It also said forthcoming first-quarter results would top analyst targets.
TRW's upbeat results buck a rough trend for auto-parts makers, which has resulted in numerous high-profile bankruptcies, including a Chapter 11 filing by Delphi, the biggest parts maker in the States.
The group did well considering it faced rising raw-material costs while key customers General Motors and Ford scaled back production.
"The automotive industry, at all levels, is evolving at a remarkable pace as global competition intensifies and economic pressures continue to pose significant risks to bottom-line performance," said chief executive John Plant.
"The level of uncertainty surrounding the 2006 environment in the industry is daunting."