HELSINKI, Finland (May 8, 2008) — Nokian Tyres P.L.C. reported double-digit gains in sales and earnings in its first quarter because of higher volume and improved pricing and product mix.
Nokian said operating income rose 39.5 percent to $85.9 million on 23.2-percent higher sales of $389.1 million. Net income jumped 60.5 percent to $71.2 million.
Sales increased strongly in the company's core markets, and operating profit saw a clear improvement over the previous year, according to Kim Gran, Nokian president and CEO. Most of the growth came from Russia and other former Soviet Bloc countries, where sales rose 64 percent. Sales rebounded in North America, jumping 33.7 percent over the 2007 period.
The firm's order book at the start of the second quarter is larger than a year ago, the firm said. Nokian traditionally achieves its highest sales in the second half, owing to the firm's preponderance of winter products.
The fast start prompted Nokian to predict the company's sales and earnings this year will exceed the fiscal 2007 results. The firm expects raw materials costs for the year will rise about 7 percent, but anticipates it can offset these with a better product mix and higher prices.