PARIS (July 29)—Despite tough market conditions in its major European and North American markets, Groupe Michelin reported improved operating profits for the first half of 2003 on better Asian and Latin American business and a richer product mix. Sales volume increased 2.4 percent, but a strengthening euro/dollar exchange rate left sales revenue 6 percent behind 2002 at $8.21 billion. The operating income/sales ratio improved to 7.9 from 7.3 percent. Net income was down 34.9 percent because of restructuring charges at Michelin's Spanish operations. Michelin gave no specific guidance for the second half, other than to say it would "continue to improve its performances and global competitiveness" based on "stable" tire markets and raw material costs.
Michelin operating profits, sales volume rise in first half
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