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Michelin posts first quarter sales gains

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Groupe Michelin's consolidated net sales for the first quarter of 2007 totaled 4.2 billion euros, a 5.5% increase from the first quarter of 2006. "All group operations contributed to the growth, especially truck and specialty tires," say Michelin officials.

"Tire markets were dynamic in all regions except North America, which is still affected by a partial economic slowdown and a further round of fuel price increases."

Despite this, Michelin officials report that replacement consumer tire sales in North America "were up substantially. Sales growth was mainly driven by the Michelin brand, with the BFGoodrich brand posting more modest growth and Uniroyal and private and associate brands remaining globally stable."

However, Michelin's original equipment consumer tire sales in North America "were still negatively affected by the subdued level of business recorded by America's Big Three" auto manufacturers.

On the truck tire side, Michelin says it strengthened its position in North America, particularly in the United States, "where sales rose in a market down approximately 6%. New contracts were signed with large fleets during the first quarter."

Michelin also reported "significant growth" in North American OE truck tire sales.

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