MILAN—Pirelli C. & S.p.A. posted strong earnings growth for the first six months of the year, despite a decline in sales.
In the six months ending June 30, the Italian tire maker posted a 6.8 percent rise in earnings at $548 million compared with the same period last year.
The improvement, Pirelli said in an Aug. 7 financial statement, is linked to internal factors such as price/mix and efficiencies, which "more than offset" an increase in the cost of raw materials and decrease in volumes.
Sales for the first half of the year fell 2 percent to $3.05 billion, primarily due to negative foreign exchange effects and lower demand for standard tires.
Pirelli, which shifted its focus to high-value products, posted 7.8 percent growth in the segment at $1.95 billion. This, however, was offset by a 15.7 percent decline in standard tires sales which fell to $1.1 million during the six-month period.
Volumes for high-value products rose 13.1 percent, but was levelled off by an 11.3 percent decline in standard tires volume sales. Total volumes posted a decrease of 1.2 percent.
During the first half of the year, Pirelli also was hit by a 6.9 percent negative impact of currency exchange rate. This, the company said, primarily was due to stronger Euro against the dollar as well as the volatility of Chinese and other emerging markets' currencies.