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ArvinMeritor has positive quarter

ArvinMeritor Inc. posted a fourth-quarter profit as fleets bought heavy-duty trucks ahead of new EPA emissions standards. The Troy, MI-based company reported net income of $41 million compared with a year-earlier loss of $1 million. The company said sales of its parts for commercial vehicles jumped 21% to $107 million. In addition to the pre-buying habits of fleets, ArvinMeritor said higher light-vehicle production in North America and Western Europe also helped raise those numbers. The surge in volume and cost-cutting efforts boosted the unit's operating margin to 5.2% from 1.8% in the same period a year ago. ArvinMeritor said it expects North American heavy-duty truck production to fall about 4% to 161,000 units, but expects to report higher sales and profits in fiscal 2003 as it gains new business and increases market penetration.

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