MILAN, Italy-Pirelli Tyre Holding N.V.'s principal goal for 1996 is to increase profitability to a level ``sufficiently high to provide a satisfactory return on investment,'' but management cautioned results will be influenced by slowdowns in Western economies. The forecast coincides with the release of 1995 results, which show the Pirelli S.p.A. subsidiary increased operating earnings 22.9 percent despite charges related to a restructuring in North America.
Net earnings were up 12-fold over 1994, but sales dropped 3.2 percent to $3.32 billion from a year earlier due, in part, to the effects of negative exchange rates. Revenue on a ``fully comparable basis'' jumped 6.1 percent, as sales volume and prices increased, the company said.
A gradual recovery in North America toward profits, resulting from the effects of the industrial and commercial reorganization there, should help boost improved results this year, management said.
Pirelli S.p.A.-comprising the cables and tire businesses-more than doubled its net earnings last year to $186.3 million, while sales jumped 11.3 percent to $6.68 billion. Exchange rate effects enhanced Pirelli's results to a certain extent, the firm said.