The Timken Co., Canton, OH, reported sales of $1.28 billion in the first quarter 2007, an increase of 2% over the same period a year ago. Income from continuing operations was $41.6 million.   ; Sales in Asia were up 17%.   ; The Industrial Group had first-quarter sales of $544.4 million, up 8% from $503.9 million for the same period last year. Favorable pricing and higher volume drove the increase, with sales strength coming from multiple market sectors, especially aerospace and heavy industry.   ; The Automotive Group's first-quarter sales of $388 million were down 8% from $421 million for the same period last year. The decrease was driven by the sale of its steering business at the end of 2006 and lower demand from North American light vehicle and heavy truck customers. The Automotive Group incurred a loss of $7.2 million compared to a loss of $3.1 million for the same period a year ago.   ; Steel Group sales, including inter-segment sales, were $390.3 million, up 4% from $375.4 million for the same period a year ago. The increase was driven by higher demand in the energy and service center sectors, which was partially offset by lower demand in automotive-related sectors. In addition, the Steel Group benefited from price increases and surcharges to help recover continued high raw material costs.