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Michelin reports net sales of 11.1 billion euros through nine months

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Groupe Michelin reported consolidated net sales of 11.1 billion euros through the first nine months of 2003 -- a 4.6% decrease compared to the same period last year. Passenger and light truck tire sales are down 6.8%, while truck tire sales are down 0.4%.

For the third quarter, Michelin posted net sales of 3.8 billion euros, a 1.6% drop vs. the third quarter of 2002.

Strong replacement consumer tire unit growth in Europe (up 4.5% compared to last year) more than offset the nine-month performance in North America (down 1.6%). At the original equipment level, passenger and light truck tire units were down 14.8% in Europe and 0.5% in North America.

Worldwide, the company is down 0.3% in consumer units shipped compared to last year at this time.

In the truck tire segment, Groupe Michelin posted nine-month gains in the replacement market in both North America (where replacement shipments outpaced the industry) and Europe, but losses in the OE market. Globally, Michelin's truck tire unit shipments were up 3.5%.

For the third quarter, Michelin was up in both the European (5.7%) and North American (2.2%) replacement consumer tire markets in terms of units shipped during the third quarter. Comparatively, the industry was up 7% and 5%, respectively. Michelin cited strong growth in the SUV and mass market tire segments as the primary reasons for its increase in North America.

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