NOKIAN, Finland (Aug. 13)—Nokian Tyres P.L.C. posted double-digit gains in both earnings and sales in the first half of 2004, prompting the firm to forecast improved sales and earnings for the whole year.
Nokian credited strong sales in the U.S.—up 50 percent—Russia and the Nordic countries for a 29.1-percent increase in manufacturing-related revenues during the period; the company's distribution network posted lower gains.
Operating earnings of $36.2 million were 76.6 percent ahead of a year earlier, while sales advanced 18.9 percent to $307.7 million. The company attributed its improved profits to price increases, a better sales mix and improved productivity than in the previous year. Nokian indicated the results could have been even better, stating that raw material prices and the low value of the dollar had a negative effect on the profitability of tires sold in the U.S.
The company said it broke ground in June for a $64 million plant in Russia that will be turning out 1.5 million car tires a year by 2006.