Conti Report No Contact Over Truck Tyres
Continental has responded to claims from German news sources that Italian rival Pirelli are interested in buying the German manufacturer’s truck tyre business, stating that they have yet to be contacted. A spokeswoman for Continental said that “There are no sales talks whatsoever”.
The speculation follows reports in Germany’s leading commercial economy newspaper Handelsblatt that Pirelli’s Chairman, Marco Tronchetti Provera, has declared definitively the company’s interest in truck tyres. Coupled with the attention devoted to Continental’s truck tyre business by the German company’s management in April this year, conjecture continues to develop as to the fate of the department.
The first-quarter figures for Continental’s truck tyre department showed a pre-tax earnings (EBIT) margin of 3.8 per cent; a margin much lower than the company’s target of 10 per cent for all divisions by 2010. Indeed, the German company has stated previously that it would sell its smallest division if it failed to lift its margin to coincide with Continental’s target figure.
Meanwhile, on the stock market yesterday, shares in Continental fell 3.3 per cent, while Pirelli experienced a 1.8 per cent gain.