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Net sales drop 8.1% for Michelin in 1Q

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Groupe Michelin posted net sales of 4.9 billion euros for the first quarter ended March 31, 2013. That compares to sales of 5.3 billion euros for the same period the previous year.

Based on the exchange rate on March 31, 2013, Michelin recorded net sales of more than $6.2 billion.

(Michelin only reports net income every half. The company posted net income of more than 1.5 billion euros on net sales of close to 21.5 billion euros for its fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2012. Click here for more information.)

Here's the sales breakdown, in billions of euro, by tire segment:

Tire sales         1Q 2013       1Q 2012     % change

Consumer            2.58               2.76            -6.5%

Truck/retread        1.47              1.60             -7.9%        

Specialty                  .82                .94            -13.0%

In the specialty businesses, earthmover tire sales "were down sharply on the decline in volumes in the OE and infrastructure segments." Agricultural tire sales, on the other hand, "edged back under the impact of volume weakness, the application of raw materials-based price indexation clauses, and the gain in the euro against the U.S. dollar."

In North America, the market environment in the first quarter was "disappointing," according to Michelin.

Outlook for 2013, per Michelin

"In a market environment that is weak in mature regions and expanding in the new markets, Michelin confirms its objective of stable volumes in 2013, taking advantage of its global footprint.

"The decline in raw materials prices should have around a 550 million euro favorable impact on full-year operating income. If so, this would amply exceed the around 300 million europ price-mix impact.

"As indicated in February, the capital expenditure program, totaling some 2 billion euro, will support Michelin’s ambitious growth objectives by adding new production capacity in the new markets. It is also designed to improve competitiveness in mature markets and drive technological innovation.

"In this environment, Michelin confirms its objectives for 2013, when it expects to report stable operating income before non-recurring items, a more than 10% return on capital employed and positive free cash flow."

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