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Michelin sales up in Q3, down for 9-month period

CLERMONT-FERRAND, France — Group Michelin’s global sales revenue for the quarter ended Sept. 30 rose 5.2 percent over 2017 to $6.57 billion despite some unfavorable currency effects.

For the nine-month period, however, the exchange rate movements largely were to blame for a 1.1-percent drop in sales, to $19 billion, despite a 2.9-percent increase in volumes and a positive impact from the price-mix effect of only 0.5 percent, as the environment weakened late in the period, Michelin said

Michelin also referenced a change in the scope of consolidation, reflecting the inclusion of belting group Fenner since June 1 and the exclusion of results from the firm’s TCi wholesale business in the U.S. following the creation of the wholesaling joint venture with Sumitomo Corp.

Michelin, at this time, did not disclose its earnings performance for the period, but did say it expects changes in the price-mix and raw materials costs to generate at least $235 million in additional operating income in the second half alone.

At the same time, Michelin said it reaffirms it is on target to achieve roughly $1.4 billion in savings it targeted in a competitiveness plan for the 2017-20 period.

Looking ahead to 2019, Michelin said it anticipates 1.5-percent growth in the passenger/light truck tire segment, buoyed by a 10-percent jump in sales of tires in the 18-inch rim diameter category and larger as well as a “slight” upturn in the China market.

Michelin also is forecasting a stable truck/bus tire market and a 4- to 5-percent gain in the specialty businesses (mining/OTR, motorcycle, farm/forestry, etc.)

Looking at the firm’s markets, Michelin said replacement market passenger/LT tire sales picked up in the third quarter to a “robust” 5 percent, based in part on a rise in imports from Asia. The truck/bus tire aftermarket was even better, Michelin said, with 6-percent growth, reflecting overall economic growth.

The contracting North American OE car/LT tire market bottomed out and saw some rebound in the third quarter, while truck/bus tire OE demand shot up 16 percent over the corresponding 2017 period.

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