NOKIA, Finland — Nokian Tyres P.L.C. has made many key investments that are coming to fruition, and the focus moving forward in the COVID-19 pandemic is on cashflow, promotion and increasing productivity, President and CEO Jukka Moisio said in a recent conference call.
"In the past, we've had a number of important initiatives. Now, as these programs are coming to an end, we have to look internally with promotional programs, targeting new segments," Mr. Moisio said during a Sept. 8 conference call with reporters and investors marking his first 100 days as CEO.
"Long-term strategy, we are comfortable with where we are at, but that may have to be adjusted as the markets stabilize. … We clearly see that COVID is a temporary setback. If recovery continues, we are in a good position."
Mr. Moisio, former president and CEO of global packaging company Huhtamäki Oyj, was appointed May 27 to replace Hille Korhonen.
He said the company cut costs significantly and temporarily idled production earlier in the year because of the pandemic. The moves, he said, helped with short-term cashflow, though the company was able to keep its inventory levels "well managed."
The Finnish tire maker reported a net loss of $24.7 million in the first half of the year, compared with a net profit of nearly $300 million the year before.
"We have a strong manufacturing know-how," he said. "The brand is well known in markets and segment where we have historical good position.
"And we have a strong team. The (COVID-19) impact could have been really significant, but our team reacted well."
Mr. Moisio said some of the company plans moving forward include bringing its Russia and Dayton, Tenn., plants up to capacity. There will also be a focus to increase heavy tire production and efficiencies at the company's oldest plant in Nokia.