NOKIAN, Finland (Feb. 11, 2009)—Nokian Tyres P.L.C. has reported steady increases in sales and operating profit for the 12 months to December 2008, but sales were sharply down in the final quarter, which pushed the company to a loss for the three months.
For the full year, Nokian reports sales up by 5.5 percent, to $1.6 million. Operating profit rose to $376 million from $342 million while net profit fell to $205 million from $247.4 million.
In the three months to December, however, sales fell by a quarter to $391.9 million from $521.8 million in the same period a year before.
This sharp decline meant the company recorded an operating profit of $68.4 million, but a net loss of $17.9 million compared with a net profit of $124.5 million a year earlier.
Nokian said that while the financial crisis makes it difficult to draw up precise forecasts for demand for the full year 2009, Nokian expects the first-quarter net sales and operating profit to be clearly below the previous year.
President and CEO Kim Gran said the company's focus in 2009 will be on securing cash flow and managing risks, noting that Nokian Tyres has good opportunities to boost its market position.
Gran said the decline in the global economy led to a steep fall in tire demand in the last quarter, especially in Russia and other CIS countries.