NOKIA, Finland — Nokian Tyres P.L.C.'s fiscal 2018 operating income edged up 1.9 percent to $439.2 million on 1.5-percent higher sales of $1.88 billion.
Both earnings and sales were impacted negatively by currency valuation swings, Nokian said, and business slowed in the fourth quarter, particularly in Central Europe.
The operating earnings ratio was essentially unchanged at 23.3 percent.
Net earnings grew by 33.3 percent to nearly $348 million from a 2017 figure that was impacted negatively by one-time tax and interest charges.
Despite the relatively lackluster earnings report, Nokian management is sticking by its financial targets for 2019–21 that the company published in November: grow faster than the market, maintain healthy profitability (operating at or above 22 percent) and issue dividends above 50 percent of net earnings.
For the fiscal year, Nokian cited encouraging growth in Russia and North America, which offset the negative impact of a delayed summer and lower new car sales in Sweden and Norway.
Revenue reported in North America grew 13.1 percent last year, to $228.8 million.
Nokian has set a goal of doubling sales in North America by 2023, to approximately $500 million, to coincide with the ramping up to full-scale capacity at the firm's plant under construction in Dayton, Tenn.