PARIS (Feb. 13)—Groupe Michelin's 2002 sales rose 2.7 percent to $14.7 billion compared to 2001, influenced by a slight downturn in business in the fourth quarter. The company said it will report earnings—which advanced 16 percent in the first half to $511 on sales of $7 billion—on Feb. 25. The four quarter sales decline was influenced heavily by exchange rates, while the company's volumes rose 3.5 percent in the quarter and 2.4 percent for the year. In North America, the firm's passenger and light truck tire aftermarket sales fell 2 percent from 2001, but this still translated into a small market share gain since the overall market declined further, Michelin said. Original equipment sales increased as the company improved its mix. Truck tire sales climbed 3.9 percent, but that just brought Michelin part way back to its replacement market presence of early 2001 before raised prices and lost customers.
Groupe Michelin sales rise 2.7 percent for 2002
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