TRELLEBORG, Sweden—Trelleborg A.B. posted a 14.6 percent improvement in pre-tax operating income for the first half of fiscal 2018 on 4.8 percent higher sales.
Trelleborg President and CEO Peter Nilsson singled out growth in Asia and in the tire and wheel business as areas that contributed heavily to the sales and earnings growth.
Demand for Trelleborg agricultural tires is developing "stronger than the underlying market," Nilsson said, driven mainly by increased original equipment deliveries to agricultural machinery producers.
Trelleborg Wheel Systems reported 8.5 percent higher revenue of $607.2 million in the first half over 2017, he said, despite declining European tractor registrations.
Trelleborg Wheels' sales to agricultural machinery producers was up in most regions, performing particularly strongly in Asia, he said.
The business' pre-tax earnings grew 31.9 percent to $88.4 million, or 14.6 percent of sales.
Trelleborg's first half net sales rose to $2.07 billion, while EBITDA was $326.7 million, or 15.7 percent of sales.
Nilsson said Trelleborg experienced higher demand in most of its business segments and enters the third quarter with "strengthened optimism" despite intensified political and economic tensions that may impact trade and the willingness to invest.
Following the close of the second quarter books, Trelleborg disclosed the acquisition of TRS Tyre & Wheel Ltd., a New Zealand tire distributor specializing in tires and complete wheels for tire and tractor dealers. Wanganui, New Zealand-based TRS Tyre generates annual sales of approximately $18 million.