Nokian president ‘confident’ that company is returning ‘to profitable growth’
At Nokian Tyres’ Capital Markets Day for investors and analysts in Helsinki, Finland, president and CEO Ari Lehtoranta expressed confidence that the company has started its “journey back to profitable growth.” Focusing on Nokian’s strategy and financial targets, the manufacturer also made no changes to its previous guidance for 2015; the company’s results have shown contraction throughout the year.
Lehtoranta was naturally keen to play up 2015’s positives; recent months have seen many positive third-party endorsements of its current product range: “The competitiveness of the Nokian Tyres product offering is very strong. The number of test wins is at the highest level and a series of successful launches of new innovative products has resulted in a wider portfolio than ever before. A strong position in the core markets, an expanding distribution channel, and an improved cost structure combined with new test winner products give Nokian Tyres opportunities to grow and to provide healthy margins and a strong cash flow also in the future.”
Plans to build a third factory remain pending, with details unlikely to be finalised for some time.
Looking ahead, Nokian added that it targets growth “faster than market” with “healthy profitability” between 2016-2018; considering current outlooks, Nokian added that the minimum average annual sales growth over this period would need to be 4-5 per cent, with operating profit at a 22 per cent.
“Nokian Tyres is on track to reach the financial targets. Our operating profit level in January-September 2015 was 21.5 per cent, despite the economic challenges in Russia and delay of the winter season. Our dividend distribution has already been stable, 1.45 euros per share in the years 2012-2014, and we are aiming at steady development also in the following years,” Lehtoranta added.