NOKIA, Finland (Oct. 8) – Nokian Tyres P.L.C. reported increased sales and earnings in its second quarter and half year, and management is positive about the company's goal to exceed last year's results for the whole year. Operating profit for the half year was $18.6 million, nearly double that of a year ago, while sales rose 9.1 percent to $234.3 million. The company sees demand for its products staying strong in its key markets in Scandinavia, Eastern Europe and Russia. On the downside, Nokian predicts raw material prices will continue to rise and the falling value of the U.S. dollar is reducing the profitability of tires shipped to North America.