Continentals 2Q results have exceeded the forecasts of industry experts.
Compared with 2Q 2002, turnover was down 3.4 per cent to 2.825 billion Euro
(2.925 bn), but operating income rose 11.3 per cent to 216 million Euro
(194 m). The groups operating margin was 7.6 per cent and, while the car
tyre and truck tyre divisions were slightly below this (6.7 and 7.4 per
cent). ContiTech and Continental Automotive Systems achieved 8.5 and 9.0
peer cent respectively. Contis CFO Dr. Hippe was cautious about the
second half of the year, although he said that annual operating profits
could considerably exceed the stated target of 700 million Euro.
First half sales of the Pirelli group totalled 3.022 billion Euro, down 9.8 per cent on the 1H 2002 figure of 3.35 bn Euro, preliminary, unaudited figures show. However, when exchange rate fluctuations and changes due to consolidation are factored out, sales actually increased by 3.3 per cent. Operating income was 118 million Euro, due largely to a growth (net of exchange rates) in the tyre sector of 14.4 per cent, with sales at 1.509 bn Euro.
Michelin has released financial figures for the first half of the year. Sales were down 6 per cent to 7.348 billion Euro, but excluding currency effects, this would be a rise of 4.4 per cent. Operating profit rose one per cent to 578 million Euro and net income was 165 million Euro; below what was expected, but this was almost entirely due to charges of 178 million Euro for restructuring in Spain. Truck tyre sales were better than expected, while car tyre revenues were worse. Michelins debt increased by 0.1 billion Euro to 3.9 billion, due largely to the acquisition of the Viborg chain.
Goodyears second quarter (Q2) figures reveal that the company lost $73.6 million, compared to a net income in Q2 last year of $28.9 m. Sales were up nearly 8 per cent at $3.8 billion (3.5 bn), but volumes were down half a million units to 52.8 million pieces. Chairman and CEO Robert J. Keegan described the results as „disappointing“, but said he was encouraged by the „numerous positive trends„ (notably operations outside North America) and he was „optimistic“ about the turnaround plans.
Goodyear is to resume talks with the United Steelworkers of America next week in Cincinnati, concerning a master contract agreement, covering some 16,000 associates at 14 facilities. Talks have been stalled since the USWA rejected a company proposal in June.
In the USA, Goodyear has introduced a new OTR tyre, aimed at mining applications, size 45R57. The tyre is made in two pieces, with a casing and tread belt package that lock together and which are held together by air pressure. The tread belt package is replaceable and, should part of the tyre become damaged, replacement can be made in a fraction of the time needed for a conventional tyre.
Titan Tire will suspend production at its factory in Brownsville, Texas until market demand picks up. Production will continue at the plant in Des Moines, Iowa. A slump in the US agricultural and industrial tyre markets is blamed as the main cause, although US tyre manufacturers are under pressure from cheaper imported tyres. Titan currently has another factory standing idle - the former Fidelity Tire plant in Natchez.
The Trelleborg Group has signed an agreement with Smiths Group Plc of the UK to acquire its operations in polymer-based precision seals (Polymer Sealing Solutions - PSS). PSS has annual sales of approximately SEK 5.5 billion (599.37 million Euro) and some 6,000 employees, mainly in Europe and North America. Following the acquisition, the annual sales of the Trelleborg Group are expected to total SEK 22.5 billion (2.45 bn Euro), with approximately 21,000 employees in some 40 countries. The acquired operations will form a new business area within the Trelleborg Group.
Trelleborg Wheel Systems – First Half Year Results
Figures show that Trelleborg Wheel Systems achieved sales for the first half of the year of 1,470 million Swedish Kroner (SEK), or 160.2 million Euro. Operating profit was up 33 per cent to SEK 84 million (9.15 m Euro), compared with last years first half figure of SEK 63 million (6.87 m Euro). During the second quarter, turnover was SEK 713 million (77.7 m Euro) and operating profit was SEK 39 million (4.25 m Euro).
Bridgestone Australia reported a drop in net profit of over 20 per cent for the first half of the year, to A$ 4.16 million (2.4 m Euro), while turnover was up 3 per cent to A$ 262.45 million (151.7 m Euro). Executive director of finance Andrew Moffatt blamed an increase of cheap, imported tyres for the fall in profits and Bridgestone is in negotiations with its workforce to increase productivity. No half-year dividend was declared, but the company expects to declare a reasonable year-end dividend.
Bosal UK is to sell four of its 19 Silencer Distributors (UK) Limited exhaust wholesale branches to its long-time customer Southern Exhaust Supplies Ltd. The deal was described as a multi-million Pound agreement and SES has the option to purchase further SDL sites in the future. Bosal acquired SDL out of Receivership following the collapse of SDL parent company Finelist in December 2000. The purchase was made to ensure continued supply of Bosal exhaust products to the UK aftermarket in the short and medium term and was always described by Bosal as a holding manoeuvre.
Kwik-Fit Fleet has won a five-year solus contract, worth 30 million Pounds, to supply tyres to Motability Operations, which operates Europes largest vehicle fleet of 400,000 vehicles. Motability customers will have 24-hour access to a dedicated Kwik-Fit team via a single, local rate phone number.
Superior Industries is to be the supplier of aluminium wheels for the Ford F-150 truck, supplying five different styles of wheels for the 2004 model. The 2004 model is the latest version of the F-150, which has been the best-selling vehicle of any type in the USA for the past two decades and the countrys best-selling truck for the past 25 years.
Bridgestone Europe has officially opened the extension to its European Distribution Centre at Zeebrugge, Belgium. The size of the facility has doubled from 28,000 sq. m. to 56,000 sq. m., capable of holding 800,000 passenger car tyres as well as the 110,000 truck and bus tyres already housed on site.
Norwegian Bandag Dealer Signs Arctic Tyre Contract
Norwegian Bandag dealer Dekkmann has signed a contract to supply tyres to Leonard Nilsen & Sonner, the company that supplies transport to three coal mines, situated in Svalbard. Svalbard consists of 150 islands near the North Pole and driving conditions are extremely harsh. Nine trucks make the 26 km journey from mine to harbour 32 times every day, seven days a week. Last year, Dekkmann supplied Nilsen with 1,000 Bandag retreads.