Raw material costs hit Michelin 2003 earnings

By Patrick Raleigh, ERJ On-line news editor

Paris-Groupe Michelin has posted a 6.7-percent drop in operating income to Euro1143 million, on 2003 sales of Euro15 370 million, 1.8 percent lower than the previous year.

Michelin blamed the lower earnings mainly on a 21-percent surge in raw material costs, which added around Euro320 million to costs. Healthcare, transportation, and currency factors added another Euro200 million to extra costs, said a 24 Feb group statement.

The performance equated to an operating margin of 7.4 percent, or 7.7 percent excluding…

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