Goodyear: Net Profit of 97.2 Million US $ in Third Quarter of 1999
Goodyear reports a net profit of 97.2 million US $ for the third quarter of 1999 compared with 185 million US $ in the third quarter of 1998. The turnover achieved in the third quarter of 1999 was 3.3 billion US $, 100 million US $ more than in the same period last year. The turnover contribution of its recent acquisition, Dunlop, amounted to 200 million US $ worldwide.
In the first nine months of this year, Continentals sales rose to 6.8 billion Euros, with an EBIT of 385 million Euros. The largest contribution still comes from passenger car tyres, although Continental emphasises the growing importance of its role as a systems supplier. However, it seems that there will not be any striking developments in this segment that will affect the market in the immediate future. But Dr. Kessel is sure, saying: Continental is on the way to Total Chassis Management. Obviously, the company wants to enhance its profile at the expense of its tyre competitors, many of whose shares are performing badly on the worlds stock markets. However, Continentals share price at the moment is also disappointing.
Business analysis specialists Datamonitor predict that the European Fast Fit Market will have an annual growth of more than 4 per cent each year and reach 11 billion Euros by 2004. It is also anticipated that new competitors Ford (who acquired Kwik-Fit) and Fiat (who acquired Midas) will significantly increase their standing in the market during this period.
The management has undertaken an upward revision of the turnover and profit forecasts. Due to increased turnover all business divisions were able to improve their margins, but it seems that General Tire did not entirely come up to the expectations of institutional investors. The Teves result (half-yearly turnover: 1.278 billion euros, EBIT: 27 million euros) came as a pleasant surprise to banking circles. After the first six months group turnover reached 4.449 billion euros, and the EBIT of 263 million euros was roughly ten per cent above expectations. Stock exchange experts value the potential of the Continental share with 25 to 26 euros, which has as yet not been realised. The slightly worrying aspect is the fear that Continental could be lumped together with other, normal tyre manufacturers, e.g. Michelin, Goodyear and Pirelli, which produced rather sobering results.
Michelin Reaps Benefits of Bridgestone and Goodyear Mistakes in the USA
The current winner in the American car tyre replacement business is Michelin. On the one hand, the French profit from the catastrophic supply situation of their two main competitors, Goodyear and Bridgestone, which achieve so-called fill rates of 60 p.c. or even less, but they also reap the benefits of the successful introduction and implementation of their multi-brand strategy, which has made a demand management possible. In contrast to their big competitors the French have a very clear brand policy with no further differentiation within a brand, and they no longer produce private brands, all of which considerably shortens the reaction time to changed market conditions. Goodyear and Bridgestone cannot achieve Michelin prices. The groups will not improve their unsatisfactory fill rates as long as they also manufacture large quantities of private brands. The Japanese cannot develop a multi-brand strategy since they lack a strong leading brand – Bridgestone not being blessed with a high degree of brand awareness everywhere in the USA. For a long time the Americans differentiated very strongly within the Goodyear brand; now they have to position Dunlop tyres as well. That will also mean the need for significant investment in the brands. Furthermore, Goodyear managers in particular are currently confronted by a hostile gut reaction from the trade, whether capable of rational explanation is neither here nor there.
Goodyear: Gibara Announces New Multi-Brand Strategy
The differentiation within the Goodyear brand, which has been most conspicuous in North America, will soon be a thing of the past. On Thursday Gibara declared in front of analysts in New York that the Goodyear brand will in future only be a premium brand; the group’s range will be complemented by Dunlop (medium brand) and Kelly (economy/budget brand).
Nokian: Turnover Up 20% In First Nine Months Of 1999
Finnish tyre manufacturer Nokian has achieved a net turnover of 199 million Euros in the first nine months of this year; an increase of around 20 %. Operating profit is 18.4 million Euros (9 % lower than the previous year). Nokian is pursuing a strategy of expansion and, this year, will invest some 31 million Euros, with the aim of increasing production capacity by 50% within five years. At the moment, Nokian is trying to purchase ISKO, Finlands largest tyre dealer with a turnover of approximately 65 million Euros. Analysts say that ISKO is financially very strong and very profitable.
The Vredestein NV group consists of five companies with activities in car, transporter, agricultural and industrial as well as bicycle tyres, boots for consumer markets and industrial applications, recycled rubber, compounds and sealing extrusions. The company employs about 2,200 people in total. The first half of 1999 developed according to forecast, with net profits increased to 600,000 euros – 200,000 euros more than in the first half of 1998. Consolidated net turnover yields rose by ten per cent from 98.1 million euros to 108 million euros, and during the period in question cash-flow was up by 1.1 million to 9.9 million euros. Vredestein Banden’s turnover increased during the first quarter due to the long winter and the resulting good opportunities for selling winter tyres. The first half year was characterised by the Sportrac introduction, a new tyre for the high speed sector (up to 240 km/h) developed in close conjunction with Guigiaro Design, the renowned Italian designer firm. Sales of the new Sportrac have exceeded expectations, according to the manufacturer. Several sizes are not yet available, so the impact of its introduction should be felt in full during the second half of 1999. In the agricultural tyre sector the recently launched AS radial (Traxion+) was well received. Industrial tyre sales developed positively. An important part of the Vredestein group’s annual result is traditionally achieved in the second half of the year, mainly due to the strong influence of Vredestein Banden’s winter tyre sales. Assuming that economic conditions remain stable in the most important European markets, the company is optimistic that it will once again be able to increase last year’s profit.
Four years ago Südrad Autoräder GmbH und Co. KG had to call in the receiver, who in the meantime sold the aluminium wheel division of the company. Now the steel wheel production at Ebersbach has also found a new owner in the guise of Mefro Räderwerk Ronneburg GmbH. In 1999 Südrad with 600 employees will produce approximately five million car steel wheels as well as steel wheels for trucks and light trucks. The turnover is given as 140 million marks, and Südrad is back in the black now that the restructuring measures have been completed. Mefro had its origins in a wheel combine of the former GDR and now has an annual production of approximately two million steel wheels for agricultural and construction site vehicles as well as for industrial vehicles and fork lift trucks. With a workforce of about 220 employees Mefro has an annual turnover of approximately 60 million marks.
Goodyear, who stopped supplying tyres for Formula 1 last season, has announced that, from next year, it will no longer supply tyres to the Indy Racing League (IRL) and Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) in the USA. The company will concentrate on other forms of racing, such as NASCAR. Stu Grant, general manager for global race tyres, said that the decision will be reviewed and that he would not rule out a return to IRL, CART, nor Formula 1 competition.
The Technic Group - at one time the worlds biggest passenger car tyre retreader - is the latest company to succumb to the fall in demand for car retreads. Hopes that the Technic group would be sold as a going concern proved to be unfounded. The Administrative Receiver said: Since we were appointed, the company has continued to accumulate losses. Despite some early indications of interest, no offers were received for the business and we can see no realistic prospect of receiving an offer against a difficult background in the retread market. As a result we have no option but to close the business. 200 of the 250 employees have received redundancy notices and the Receivers will seek to dispose of the companys assets.