CLERMONT-FERRAND, France (Feb. 17)—Currency fluctuations and changes in the scope of consolidation combined to push Groupe Michelin's 2003 net sales down 1.8 percent from 2002; earnings were not released at this time.
Michelin said using constant exchange rates and factoring out changes in the consolidation would have resulted in a 5-percent gain. The company shipped 3.7-percent more tires on a tonnage basis and reported gains on better pricing and product mix, but the currency fluctuations more than offset all the gains to leave sales at $17.4 billion.
In the fourth quarter, net sales of $4.77 billion were 6.6 percent ahead of the 2002 quarter, with the addition of sales by Viborg Group, the European tire distribution network acquired in the first quarter, contributing most of the gain.
Groupe Michelin will report its full-year earnings Feb. 24.