Michelin posts sales gains in 'difficult' economy

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Groupe Michelin posted net sales of 4.2 billion euros during the third quarter of 2008, an increase of .7% from the third quarter of 2007. For the first nine months of 2008, Michelin achieved 12.4 billion euros in net sales, up 4.5% over the same period in 2007.

Despite those gains, Michelin officials describe the European and North American markets as "particularly difficult."

In North America, the passenger and light truck tire replacement markets "declined significantly... this was particularly the case in the United States, where demand was down more than 8% over the (third quarter) period, after a nearly 3% drop in the first two quarters of the year."

Meanwhile, medium truck tire demand "remained depressed in the first nine months of the year despite stable road freight volumes" and the OE truck tire market is still down "sharply. Uncertainties as to business prospects over the coming months translate into a wait-and-see attitude among fleet owners who tend to postpone new truck purchases."

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