Nokia, Finland--Nokian Tyres has reported sales up by almost 14 percent and profits up by 40 percent for the twelve months to December 2004. Sales reached Euro602.2 million (2003: Euro528.7 million). Profit (EBIT) amounted to Euro97.9 million (2003: Euro69.6 million).
The company said sales were strong in all sectors, notably car tyres, where sales were up by over 20 percent, to EUR 363.6 million, with winter tyre sales hitting a record volume and sales up strongly in Russia, North America and Nordic countries. As a result of production investments and productivity-boosting measures the Nokia plant's production volumes in tons increased by 13,9%, and totalled 5.9 million (5.4 million) tyres.
In heavy tyres, the company also saw volume and margins increase, and bicycle tyres followed the same pattern.
Nokian said it decided to accelerate the construction and machinery investments of the second phase of its tyre factory in Russia. The company now aims to reach a capacity of 4 million tyres by 2008.
In a statement, Nokian said, "Land construction for the new plant began in the spring, and a contracting agreement on plant construction was signed with Lemcon Oy in May. The contract is worth EUR 21 million. The cornerstone of the new plant was laid in June. The construction work has progressed as planned and on schedule. Topping out took place in January, and the first machine installations will be carried out in the spring. Production will start in 2005, the objective being to manufacture some 1.5 million tyres in 2006. The Nokian-branded passenger car tyres manufactured at the plant will be sold primarily in Russia. In the initial phase, the plant will employ approximately 200 people, most of them Russian."
The company has also applied for a listing of warrants on the Helsinki stock exchange main listing. The listing enables Nokian employees to further acquire shares in their employer, and follows similar issues in shares in previous years
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Annual statement from Nokian
Press release from Nokian relating to the warrant listing