STUTTGART (Reuters) - German auto supplier Robert Bosch posted flat annual operating profit on Wednesday, boosted by sales of vehicle assistance systems, and announced a push into parking, recharging and maintenance services for electric and self-driving vehicles.
Bosch also said it was in talks to expand a research alliance on autonomous vehicles and planned to invest 4 billion euros (3.5 billion pounds) to develop self-driving cars by 2022.
"We always said we are open for others to become partners, and there are talks," Chief Executive Volkmar Denner said in remarks embargoed for release on Wednesday.
The Stuttgart-based supplier said 2018 sales rose 1.5 percent to 77.9 billion euros thanks to a 2.3 percent increase in sales from its automotive division which accounted for 47 billion in sales.
Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) reached 5.3 billion euros, the unlisted company said.
(Reporting by Ilona Wissenbach; Writing by Edward Taylor; Editing by Maria Sheahan)