PARIS (April 27, 2004) — Group Michelin posted 3.9-percent better sales in the first quarter of 2004 as the volume of tires sold was up 7.6 percent, but swings in the currency exchange rates held the revenue gain down to only about half of that.
For the full year, Michelin is forecasting growth “somewhat better…than initially anticipated,” but cautioned that first-quarter growth was aided by some exceptional circumstances in Europe and North America and that rising raw material prices continue to affect earnings.
Nonetheless, Michelin said it is “confident in its ability to achieve visible improvements in its operational performances in 2004.” Michelin did not disclose earnings for the quarter at this time.
Worldwide sales were up to $4.62 billion, with most of the growth coming in the truck tire and “other” businesses, Michelin said. The latter includes the company's holdings in retailing in Europe and the U.S.
In North America, Michelin said it gained share in the replacement passenger/light truck tire market compared with the first quarter of 2003 based on the “strong” growth of its Michelin, BFGoodrich and Uniroyal flag brands. Overall, the market was up 5.8 percent, with flag brands outperforming private and associate brands, Michelin said.