Michelin reports first quarter sales growth
Groupe Michelin posted sales of 3.9 billion euros for the first quarter of 2010, a 12.2% increase over the same period last year.
Michelin's passenger and light truck tire sales also enjoyed growth during the quarter, rising to more than 2.2 billion euros, a 13.7% increase from the first three months of 2009. Truck tire sales fared even better, rising to slightly more than 1.2 billion euros, a 20.4% increase over 1Q 2009 results.
"Replacement tire demand turned firmly upwards in every market," say Michelin officials. However, the North American and European markets "remain generally weaker than in 2007, although the trend is better in Europe."
Michelin experienced big growth in China, where its replacement consumer tire sales grew 20.5%, Brazil (up 21%), and Argentina (up 27.8%).
On the OE side, demand in North America "rebounded sharply off of very low prior-year comparatives." European OE tire sales "continued to benefit from the strong automobile sales generated by 2009 scrappage incentives."
Michelin's OTR and ag tire sales were less robust. The company's earthmover tire sales declined 10% during 1Q 2010, while net ag tire sales contracted by 13% thanks to a "steep fall-off in OE business compared with the year-earlier period."