Bosch is embarking on an acquisition spree after two years of relative reticence as the financial crisis makes companies much cheaper.
Franz Fehrenbach, chief executive of the German conglomerate, said the group would spend far more than the €800m ($1.2bn) it spent last year on deals as it attempts to expand in its machine and consumer goods arms as well as in Asia.
Bosch has one of the strongest balance sheets among European industrial companies with €12bn of cash and a net financial position of €4bn. Its private ownership lets it place more focus on long-term success than short-term profitability.
Mr Fehrenbach said Bosch should be successful this year in spite of the financial crisis as he forecast a sales increase of 5 per cent, but his targeted profit margin of 7-8 per cent suggested a fall in profits after the return on sales reached 8.2 per cent last year.
Mr Fehrenbach underlined that Bosch would continue to pour its surplus money into research and development and other investments. Last year Bosch spent 10 per cent of the €28bn sales in its car parts unit on R&D, about double many of its rivals.