Paris -- Groupe Michelin's sales edged up 2.1 percent last year to Euro 15 689 million, as volume grew 2.7 percent, but the firm said the strengthening euro-to-dollar exchange rate held the sales gain down by as much as $625 million.
Michelin did not disclose earnings with its 2004 sales figures but said it expects to report a "visible improvement" over 2003 in its operating performance when it releases an earnings statement on March 15.
The company said it offset recurring external inflationary pressures -- including extraordinary raw material price hikes -- through a firm pricing policy and an improved product mix. The firm said it gained market share in emerging markets and its targeted segments of high-performance and winter passenger, SUV, truck and earthmover tyres.
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