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Pirelli targets ambitious sales increases over next three years

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Pirelli SpA, parent company of Pirelli Tire North America Inc., wants to double its sales in the United States over the next three years, with most of its growth in 2003 and 2004.

Other Pirelli targets include an average increase of 19% each year in gross operating profit and a 9.1% return on sales.

The above projections are part of the Italian manufacturer's recently unveiled Industrial Plan. (Tires make up 40% of Pirelli's overall business.)

Pirelli's MIRS (Modulated Integrated Robot System) plant in Rome, Ga., will be a critical part of its success, Pirelli officials said at a meeting in Milan, Italy, earlier today. Pirelli also has plants in Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom.

The company is banking on the MIRS plant's flexibility and efficiency to help achieve sales and market share progress.

It plans to produce high performance, ultra-high performance, run-flat and SUV tires at the Georgia facility.

Pirelli officials, who consider the United States to be the company's "most important" market, say they will focus on independent tire dealers as part of their new strategic course.

The company also is pushing for increased original equipment business in the U.S.

Pirelli's total net sales for the first quarter of 2002 amounted to 1.68 million euros. Its Q1 2002 operating income totaled 42 million euros vs. 134 million euros during the same period last year.

Its tire sales grew 4% during the first quarter to 758 million euros.

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