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Tire sales in 2010: a big year for Michelin

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A breakdown of Groupe Michelin's financial performance in fiscal year 2010 shows how much better the company did than in 2009.

Certainly the company was more profitable (see "Michelin nets $1.4 billion in fiscal 2010"). But total sales were up significantly across the board.

In euros, net sales were up nearly 21%, from 14.8 billion euros to 17.9 billion. Taking the year-end exchange rates for 2009 and 2010 into consideration, sales were still up 11.6%.

Here is a year-to-year comparison of Michelin's monetary global tire sales, per segment (the numbers are rounded).

* Consumer tire sales were up 18.2%, from 8.3 billion euros to 9.8 billion euros. Sales highlights included "firm demand" for winter tires and Michelin brand tires.

* Truck tire sales were up 26.3%, from 4.5 billion euros to almost $5.7 billion euros. Michelin says the growth in this segment was greatest at the end of the year.

* Speciatly business sales (which include the company's non-tire businesses) were up 19.2%, from 2 billion euros to 2.4 billion euros. Earthmover tire sales contributed significantly to an increase in operating margin.

Michelin says it is aiming for "at least a 6.5% increase in unit sales" in 2011.

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