CLERMONT-FERRAND, France (July 30, 2004) — Group Michelin's net income for the first half of 2004 nearly doubled from last year as the tire maker improved its market position in supportive tire markets.
Michelin reported net income of $395.7 million, up 98.8 percent in its native currency from last year. Net sales rose 6.4 percent to $9.41 billion. Excluding the impact of currency fluctuations, net sales are up 10.4 percent, Michelin said.
Factors affecting sales included a negative impact of exchange rates, a positive impact from higher sales volume, a positive price/mix effect and a positive impact from the scope of activity and consolidation.
In North America, Michelin said the overall market is up 5.3 percent, yet it is plagued by low consumer confidence, fuel price increases and a “lagging” sport-utility vehicle tire replacement market. Michelin said it gained market share compared with the first half of 2003 despite some capacity shortages in the SUV market. The tire maker added that price increases are sticking.
For the year, Michelin expects to post a “visible improvement” in its operational performance.