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Pirelli announces strong first-half results

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Pirelli & Cie SpA posted preliminary sales of 3.57 billion euros for the first half ended June 30, 2004. That compared to revenues of 3.298 billion for the same period last year, reflecting an increase of 8.2%.

Operating income (earnings before interest and taxes) rose almost 34%, from 142 million euros in the first half of 2003 to 190 million euros this year.

While the results were in line with Pirelli´s 2004-2006 targets, the company says its net financial position is negative by approximately 2,050 million euros.

The first-half financial results for the company´s industrial sectors are as follows.

1. Tyres. Sales totaled 1.645 billion euros, compared to 1.509 billion euros for the same period last year, a 9% increase. Operating income of 154 million euros was up 19%. Pirelli described the sector´s results as its "best quarterly performance in the last 10 years."

2. Energy Cables and Systems. Sales were up 10.4%, to 1.45 billion euros, while operating income doubled to 54 million euros.

3. Telecom Cables and Systems. Sales were down 10%, from 228 million euros a year ago to approximately 205 million euros. The sector posted an operating loss of 15 million euros, compared to a loss of 21 million euros the first half of 2003.

Pirelli says it expects "a significant improvement of results in all activity sectors," both at operating and net levels, for 2004.

In other news, Maurizio Romiti will resign from the board of directors on Sept. 15, 2004.

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