MILAN—Pirelli & C. S.p.A. reported higher operating and net income for the first half of fiscal 2015 on 6.4 percent higher sales.
Pre-tax operating income rose 4.8 percent to $498.4 million, while net income was up 10 percent to $235.9 million. Sales rose to $3.55 billion but growth was uneven, with consumer-related revenue up 10.2 percent offsetting a 5.8 percent drop in industrial business unit revenue. That difference skewed the consumer/industrial split two percentage points to 79/21, Pirelli said.
Revenue in North America grew 21 percent to approximately $475 million, or 13.4 percent of global revenues. Growth came predominantly from the premium car tire business, Pirelli said.
Sales growth globally was led by the premium segment, Pirelli said, as evidenced by 10.4 percent volume growth, in line with 2015 guidance. Premium tire sales were particularly strong in Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Middle East and Africa, and Russia, the company reported, helping push the premium segment to 59.4 of consumer tire division revenues, an improvement of over 3 percentage points over 2014.
Sales also benefited from a positive price/mix component, Pirelli said, while earnings benefited from $41 million in efficiency improvements.
Pirelli cited weakness of the South American OE sector and a slowdown in replacement markets in Latin America and China as reasons for the fall in industrial segment sales.
Separately, Pirelli appointed Lorenzo Sistino as general manager its industrial business. Sistino comes to Pirelli from commercial vehicle producer Iveco S.p.A., where he's been president since September 2008.
He will be involved in the process of strengthening the organizational unit focused on truck and agricultural tires in line with the strategy outlined in the company's Industrial Plan 2014-17.
Should the ChemChina plan to acquire control of Pirelli come to pass, the industrial business will be brought under the control of ChemChina's global truck tire activities.