PARIS-Recovering original equipment tire markets in Europe and the U.S. helped Groupe Michelin post a 5.3-percent increase in sales for the third quarter of 1994. Sales in the first half, however, grew at an even faster rate, putting the nine-month increase at 7.5 percent.
The company, which posted earnings of $79.5 million for the half-year, did not release information pertaining to earnings for the period ended Sept. 30, nor any forecast for the rest of the year.
The profit for the period was only the second positive result in a reporting period by Michelin in the past four years. Michelin lost $698 million in fiscal 1993.
Sales for the quarter rose to $3.09 billion and to $9.38 billion for the nine months, although the value of sales did not rise as much as tonnage sales volume, which increased 9.5 percent. Michelin said higher sales to lower-return OE customers accounted for most of the difference.
This trend is likely to continue, as Michelin recently said it is holding the line on prices in Europe, where the firm's major competitors recently announced price increases on most tire lines of 3 percent.
Michelin is alone in this regard; the other major makers are raising prices to offset double-digit cost increases in raw materials in the past several months.
Michelin is maintaining prices, though it said it is ``concerned about the pricing situation....''