Paris - Michelin revenues edged up in the first quarter, as a 4.3-percent rise in sales of passenger car and light truck tires – to €2,897 million – offset declines of 3.0 percent in truck tires and 4.2 percent in speciality tires, which came in at €1,474 million and €771 million respectively.
The net sales total of €5,065 million, up 0.9 percent on Q1 15, reflected pressure on prices particularly in the truck tire segment, where sales volumes increased 3 percent. Volumes were up 4 percent in the passenger car and light truck segment but stable in the speciality market – earthmover, farm, two-wheeler and aircraft tires.
In its results statement 20 April, Michelin sounded an upbeat note about the figures: it had "outperformed the market in all segments", helped by robust demand for passenger car and light truck tires in Europe and North America.
Elsewhere, trends varied: strong passenger car and light truck tire demand in China, buoyant sales in India contrasting with a marked decline in South America – including a cataclysmic 43-percent drop in the Brazil OE market. The continuing slump in the global mining sector, meanwhile, impacted speciality tire inventories.
More of the same is expected up to the end of 2016, Michelin forecasting tire markets to remain mixed, with demand for passenger car, light truck and truck tires to continue rising in mature markets while staying in line with 2015 trends in new markets.