CLERMONT-FERRAND, France (Aug. 2, 2010)—Michelin has a positive outlook for the rest of the year after returning to the black in the first half, ended June 30, with $618.5 million in earnings after a $172.4 million loss in the first half of 2009.
Michelin increased sales 17 percent to $10.3 billion, compared with the year-ago period.
Michelin said it is reaffirming its full-year target of at least a 10-percent growth in sales volumes. Rising raw materials costs will have a negative impact on second-half consolidated results, Michelin said, but it will benefit from the price increases implemented in the first half.
The company said “virtually every original equipment market experienced robust growth in the first half of 2010, lifted by auto industry support programs implemented in most of the leading country markets.”
OE passenger and light truck sales in North America surged 71 percent, compared with the year-ago period, while replacement sales edged up 9 percent.
Truck tire sales in North America rallied in the first half, particularly in the trailer tire segment, but remained “far below its historic highs,” Michelin said. OE sales climbed 23 percent in North America while replacement truck tire sales increased 22 percent.
In the earthmover tires market, global OE demand rebounded as a result of equipment dealer restocking and government stimulus plans. Likewise the mining segment continued to expand because of strong demand for ore and renewed work on major projects, according to the company.
Global OE demand for farm tires fell during the period but started to recover in the second quarter while replacement demand, particularly in North America, remained sluggish.