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Michelin's 3Q net sales increase 10.6%

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Groupe Michelin posted net sales of 5.1 billion euros for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, 30, 2011. That compares to net sales of 4.6 billion euros for the same period last year.

Based on the exchange rate on Sept. 30, 2011, Michelin recorded sales of nearly $7 billion in the third quarter of this year.

(Michelin only reports net income every half. The company posted net income of 667 million euros on net sales of 10.1 billion euros for the first half ended June 30, 2011. Click here for more information.)

Here's a breakdown in Michelin's 3Q 2011 sales by segment compared to last year (which were up but much lower than they were through the first half.

Passenger Car and Light Truck Tires: 2.6 billion euros (up 5.9%).

Truck Tires: 1.7 billion euros (up 13%).

Specialty Businesses: 748 million euros (up 24%).

Through three quarters, Michelin recorded net sales of 15.2 billion euros, a 17.3% increase over 2010.

Based on period-to-period volume (defined as tonnage, not units), Michelin reported it was up 3.3% for the third quarter and 9.3% for the first nine months of fiscal 2011.

For the year, Michelin predicts its sales and operating income will be up compared to 2010.

"In line with general economic trends, tire markets, and especially the truck tire segment, turned downwards over the summer, confirming Michelin's measured optimism expressed in late July," says the company.

"In the fourth quarter, growth in the European replacement passenger tire and light truck tire segment will depend on winter tire sales to end-customers. The truck tire market is expected to remain uncertain, notably in Europe, while the specialty markets will stay very buoyant.

"In this environment, the group reaffirms that growth in sales volumes should trend towards 8% by year end.

"Michelin continues to efficiently manage its operations. It confirms that free cash flow will be temporarily negative in 2011, due to the impact of raw material costs on working capital requirement, and expects operating income to end the year substantially higher than in 2010."

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