PARIS (Oct. 23, 2012)— Michelin's revenues grew nearly 6 percent in the three- and nine-month periods ended Sept. 30 despite lower sales volumes in tonnage terms.
Michelin did not disclose earnings for either period at this time but said it expects to report a “clear increase” in fiscal 2012 operating income before recurring items based on its results through nine months. Michelin's operating income in fiscal 2011 was $2.71 billion, or 14.7 percent of sales.
Sales rose 5.7 percent in the third quarter to $7 billion and 5.9 percent in the nine months to $20.8 million, Michelin said, on the strength of higher pricing, improved selling mix and a positive currency effect. Tonnage volumes dropped 3.5 percent the quarter and 6.7 percent in the nine months.
Michelin's specialty businesses unit—farm, OTR, aircraft, motorcycle — outperformed the company's other units, reporting 15.5- and 19.9-percent revenue growth for the third quarter and nine months, respectively.
The passenger/light truck tires unit showed sales gains of 5 and 4.8 percent for the quarter and nine months, while the truck tires unit's sales were 2.7 and 1 percent ahead for the two periods.
Michelin's performance in the consumer and commercial segments is balanced against down markets. Michelin's figures show global replacement demand for car and light truck tires down 4 percent through the nine-month period, with sales down 3 percent in North America and 10 percent in Europe. Sales were up in Asia and South America, but by just 1 percent.
OE sales, on the other hand, were up 8 percent globally, including a 19-percent jump in North America.
Replacement demand for truck tires was down 7 percent globally through nine months, Michelin's data show, with Europe suffering the worst drop: 19 percent. OE demand also was off, dropping 4 percent globally, although shipments in North America and Africa/Middle East bucked the trend.