According to Financial Times Deutschland, this is well above financial analysts’ estimates and reflects the higher prices that Michelin has been able to achieve, more than compensating for raw material cost increases.
Consolidated net sales were reported to be 15,590 million euros, up 3.6 per cent on the previous year, despite a decrease in sales volumes (-1.8 per cent). This decline was particularly due to a decline in European OE business.
Commenting on the year’s results, Edouard Michelin said: “Our operating income is showing progress. Yet, it does not reflect the group’s growth potential. That is why, in 2006, we will strengthen our focused growth strategy and strengthen our cost-reduction efforts. We expect markets to grow, with a rebound in the European truck tyre market. In this environment, we are aiming for dynamic sales growth that will translate into additional operating income and an operating margin equivalent to 2005, despite the additional negative impact from higher raw material costs.”