Pirelli reports growth in tire sector

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Pirelli & C. SpA, parent company to Pirelli Tire North America, posted tire sales of 2.25 billion euros for the first three months of 2003 -- an increase of 4.4% over the same period last year.

Net income was 94 million euros, a 51% increase over net income of 62 million euros for the first nine months of 2002.

Pirelli's Energy Cables and Systems Sector also posted net income through the first nine months of this year, compared to a net loss over the same period last year. Its real estate operations also recorded a positive net income increase.

However, its Telecom Cables and Systems Sector suffered a net loss of 43 million euros vs. a 170 million euro loss in 2003.

Company-wide, Pirelli suffered a net loss of 33 million euros on on net sales of 4.9 billion euros for the first nine months of 2003. That compares to a net loss of 262 million euros on net revenues of 5 billion euros for the same period last year.

Three months ago, Pirelli restructured its telecommunications division by merging Olivetti's assets into Telecom Italia.

Pirelli held a controlling interest in SPV Olimpia, a holding company for Olivetti SpA. Olimpia owned 51% of Olivetti, which, in turn, owned controlling interest in Telecom Italia.

As a result of the merger, however, Olivetti’s controlling stake in Telecom Italia was cancelled, and Olimpia’s -- and by association Pirelli's -- stake in Olivetti was significantly diluted.

If Olimpia's results are not taken into account, Pirelli recorded net income of 32 million euros during the first nine months, compared to a 180 million euro loss last year.

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