Paris--Despite continuing double-digit growth in raw materials costs and a less-robust economy than last year, Groupe Michelin Chairman Edouard Michelin said he expects earnings this year to at least match those of 2004.
For 2004 Michelin reported a 13.7-percent increase in operating earnings to $1610 million, pushing the earnings/sales ratio up nearly a full point to 8.3 percent. Net income, including non-recurring items, jumped 60 percent to $654.7 million. Sales grew 2.1 percent to $19 500 million.
"We look to 2005 with confidence as such momentum is built on our strengths," Edouard Michelin said. "We will continue to progress further on all tyre markets. We are targeting a level of operating result which is at least as good as that achieved in 2004 despite a more difficult environment, in particular because of additional strong raw material price increases."
The company also disclosed it will report results from 2005 according to newly organized reporting segments: SR1--passenger and light truck tyres plus related distribution activities; SR2--truck tyres and related distribution activities; and SR3--earthmover, agricultural, two-wheel and aircraft tyres plus maps and guides, ViaMichelin, Michelin Lifestyle and wheels, the latter of which is being sold.
Press release from Michelin (and downloads of presentations)