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Groupe Michelin reports first half sales, income boosts

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Groupe Michelin's first half net sales totaled 7.7 billion euros, a 4.5% increase from the same period last year.

Its net income grew 57% to 370 million euros during the first six months of 2001.

"The Groupe was able to take advantage of some of the actions that have been pursued these past two years," say Michelin officials.

They include product mix improvements, internal productivity advances "and the fact that price increases introduced in the second half of 2000 and early 2001 are sticking."

Michelin expects continued market softening, especially in the commercial truck tire arena.

However, it also expects a "fall-off" in raw materials prices "that should benefit the Groupe during the second half."

A price hike of up to 5% on its MAST (Michelin Americas Small Tires) brands that will take place tomorrow should also help "compensate for the negative consequences generated on the global tire industry by extremely difficult market conditions since the beginning of the year."

Michelin announced the price increase several months ago.

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