MILAN, April 23 (Reuters) - Italian car parts maker Sogefi on Wednesday reported a net loss for the first quarter after results were hit by restructuring charges and the negative effect of exchange rates.
The group, one of the world's key producers of engine systems and suspension components, reported a net loss of 6.3 million euros ($8.69 million) for the three months to the end of March, down from a profit of 7 million euros in the same period last year.
The company, owned by Italy's De Benedetti family through its CIR holding, said the global car market would likely grow this year, driven by China. A more contained expansion is expected in North America, while Europe will likely see its market stabilising. The market in Brazil and Argentina is expected to remain week.
Sogefi said it would focus this year on increasing its presence outside Europe, improving its product mix while it would boost efficiency in its European operations. ($1 = 0.7248 Euros) (Reporting by Agnieszka Flak; editing by Francesca Landini)