ENSCHEDE, Netherlands (Aug. 15) — Amtel-Vredestein N.V. suffered a net loss of $15 million in the first half of fiscal 2006 despite 22.4-percent higher sales and "strong underlying figures."
For the period ended June 30, Amtel-Vredestein reported sales of $350 million. For the full year the firm is projecting sales of $800 million, based on traditionally strong second-half demand and the impact of revenue from the recently acquired Moscow Tyre Factory.
The firm's gross profit margin improved during the period to 22.9 percent from 19.6 percent, despite sharp increases in raw materials costs. The company credited higher production of premium tires — which it said weigh less and require less raw materials — for the change.
The net loss can be blamed on higher costs associated with the growth of the firm's retail chain in Russia and compares with a loss of $1 million in the year-ago period, Amtel-Vredestein said.