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Michelin discloses first quarter sales

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Groupe Michelin's consolidated net sales for the first quarter of 2005 totaled 3.6 billion euros, a 1% increase over sales during the first quarter of 2004 at constant exchange rates.

In North America, Michelin officials say "tire market growth trends should continue (during) the second quarter," particularly in the high performance and "4x4 recreational" segments.

"The automotive sector is up against tough industrial and trading conditions and some of the biggest players are losing further ground.

"Conversely, three factors combine to boost the truck manufacturing sector: a strong upcycle that started about two years ago, power unit early buying to avoid new EPA standards, and booming trailer sales."

Looking ahead to the rest of the year, Michelin officials do not expect the original equipment passenger/light truck markets to grow in comparison to 2004 in either North America or Europe.

However "truck original equipment markets are expected to finish the year two to four points above initial forecast.

"In all replacement markets, we are revising our growth estimates downward slightly."

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