PARIS — Michelin´s 2006 net profits fell 36 percent from a year earlier because of high raw material expenses and restructuring charges, despite a 5.1-percent rise in sales.
The company´s net earnings slipped to $719 million on sales of $20.6 billion, based on the 2006 average exchange rate.
Michelin said price hikes kept its operating income at a high level, 8.2 percent before non-recurring charges. For the year, the firm´s operating profits before non-recurring items fell by 2.2 percent to $1.68 billion.
The French tire maker expressed optimism about increasing its sales and operating margin in 2007.
In North America, Michelin said the high-performance replacement passenger and light truck tire market continues to grow, and its Michelin and BFGoodrich brands gained market share.