FRANKFURT, Sept 6 (Reuters) - Knorr-Bremse, the German brake systems maker preparing to list on the stock market, said core earnings rose 12 percent in the first half of the year, driven by demand for rail vehicle systems and gains in Asia and North America.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased to 582 million euros ($676 million) in the first six months of the year, the family owned group said on Thursday. Sales rose 11.6 percent to 3.32 billion euros.
Preparations are under way for an initial public offering in a transaction that could be Germany's second-largest listing this year after Siemens Healthineers, sources close to the matter told Reuters in July.
There was no comment on the IPO process in the company statement on Thursday.
The company said it was targeting organic sales growth of 4.5-5.5 percent over the next three to four years.
It also aims to improve its EBITDA margin by about 1.5 percentage points from the 18 percent chalked up last year.
Owner Heinz Hermann Thiele is expected to officially announce the IPO by the middle of September with the listing to take place four weeks later, the sources said.
Knorr-Bremse could be valued at around 12 billion euros ($14 bln) in the deal, with roughly a quarter of the shares expected to be sold.
Thiele and his daughter Julia Thiele-Schuerhoff would reap the proceeds of a sale of existing shares. ($1 = 0.8604 euros) (Reporting by Ludwig Burger Editing by Keith Weir)