NOKIA, Finland — Nokian Tyres P.L.C.'s strong fiscal 2017 performance continued in the third quarter with a 21.3-percent jump in operating profit and 14.5-percent increase in sales.
Operating income for the quarter rose to $105.6 million on sales of $427.2, for an operating ratio of 24.7 percent. For the nine-month period, operating income grew 20.2 percent to $285.6 million on 16.3-percent higher sales of $1.27 billion.
The quarterly revenue gain largely was driven by significant increases in passenger tire sales in Russia and eastern Europe, Nokian said, where revenue grew nearly 86 percent in the quarter.
Revenue from passenger tire sales grew 20 percent in the period, pushing this product category's share of overall sales to 70 percent in the quarter and 67.3 percent for the nine months.
Heavy tire sales grew 10.8 percent while the Vianor retail business reported 21.3-percent growth.
CEO and President Hille Korhonen explained that while the market in Russia grew significantly, central Europe remained its biggest market.
In terms of profitability, Ms. Korhonen said increasing volumes and operational efficiency, as well as price increases announced earlier in the year contributed to better results.
Commenting on growth in Russia, the Nokian boss said consumer confidence was "slightly picking up."
"Our market share has been increasing in Russia," she said. "The growth in Russia has been more positive then we have anticipated beginning of the year."
In the heavy tires segment, sales to mining — especially in Russia — increased, while the agricultural tire sales remained on a "healthy level."
Business in North America grew 16.5 percent in the quarter.
Nokian is projecting growth of at least 10 percent in sales and operating profit for the full year, at current exchange rates.