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FRANKFURT, Germany, Feb 15 AFP

February 15 2013, 8:13PM

Bosch, the German car parts maker, believes it will have to cut jobs in response to stagnating business in Europe.

"We won't be able to avoid cutting jobs in some areas," CEO Volkmar Denner told the weekly Manager Magazin on Friday.

"If our analysis is correct, the markets in Europe are going to stagnate for a number of years," he said.

But Bosch had to be prepared "for business to be even a little worse".

Denner said Bosch expected to have to increase the productivity of its plants by three-to-five per cent annually but that sales would not rise as fast due to the sluggishness of the European economy.

Last year, Bosch achieved an operating margin - which measures earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) as a proportion of sales - of just 2.0 per cent, much lower than rivals Continental and Schaeffler.

The group's long-term target is 8.0 per cent.