Demand for the new 14-plate saw March reach 464,824 new car registrations, a rise of 17.7 per cent. Since the move to twice-yearly registration plate changes in 1999, only March 2004 has seen a higher registration figure (at 466,954). Year-to-date registrations were up 13.7 per cent to 688,122 units.
Pirelli & C. SpA today reported full-year 2013 consolidated revenues of 6,146.2 million euros on 31 December, an increase of 1.2 per cent from 6,071.5 million euros a year earlier. Tyre revenues, which account for almost all of the company’s sales totalled 6,115.8 million euros in 2013, an increase of 1.4 per cent from 6,031.3 million euros. Full year tyre-derived pre-tax profits (EBIT) were 822.0 million euros, an increase of 1.2 million euros (+0.1 per cent) compared with 820.8 million euros in the same period a year earlier, with a margin equal to 13.4 per cent (13.6 per cent in 2012). However, whether it will be enough to allay pre-release market fears that emerging market exchange rates and particular Russian market instability remains to be seen.
Hankook Tire says sales of its UHP tyres were a “key growth driver” in boosting operating profit last year. Accumulated UHP segment sales accounted for 26.5 per cent of Hankook Tire’s entire global sales; UHP tyre sales rose 3.4 per cent year-on-year, growth led by the Chinese and European markets, where accumulated UHP tyre sales rose 13.6 per cent and 12.9 per cent year-on-year respectively.
In a regulatory filing submitted to the Korea Stock Exchange, Hankook Tire reports sales of KRW 1,708.5 billion (£953.8 million) for the fourth quarter of 2013, a year-on-year increase of 0.5 per cent. Operating income, at KRW 254.8 billion (£142.2 million), was up 14.6 per cent compared to the fourth quarter of 2012. Net profit from continuing operations (before corporate income tax) was reported as KRW 237.0 billion (£132.3 million), a 15.1 per cent year-on-year increase. Net income was not reported.
Bridgestone Corporation’s consolidated financial statements for the second quarter and first half of 2013 show a considerable increase in net sales, operating and net income during the period. Net sales amounted to 1,705 billion yen (£11.4 billion) between 1 January and 30 June 2013, 14.4 per cent higher than in the same period of 2012. Operating income rose 42.3 per cent to 190.4 billion yen (£1.3 billion) and net income was up 55.5 per cent to 117.0 billion yen (£784.3 million). Net income per share increased from 96.17 yen to 149.52 yen (£1.00).
While opining that “Europe remains a structurally stagnant market,” Morgan Stanley Research Europe admits surprise at the level of growth seen in the light vehicle tyre replacement market during April. After 17 consecutive months of decline, the European (excluding Russia) light vehicle aftermarket grew eight per cent year-on-year during the month. Year to date, the segment is still down seven per cent year-on-year. Aftermarket European (excluding Russia) truck tyre volume also grew four per cent year-on-year during the month.
The loss-making years are finally behind Kumho Tire. The Korean company has reported a net profit of KRW 123.67 billion (£71.9 million) for full-year 2012 – the best result since 2006 and a marked contrast from 2009, when the company posted a KRW 794.50 billion loss. Kumho Tire entered into a debt work out programme on 30 December 2009 as a result of financial difficulties faced by parent company Kumho Asiana.
For the second consecutive year, Myers Industries Inc. was named one of America’s 100 Most Trustworthy Companies in an annual Forbes magazine survey. To determine the yearly rankings, according to Forbes, GMI Ratings provided the magazine with “in-depth quantitative and qualitative financial analysis, which looks beyond the raw data of companies’ income statements and balance sheets. Non-traditional risk measures are assessed to interpret the highest quality of corporate accounting transparency, solid corporate governance and management practices, lowest incidence of high-risk events, and appropriate board supervision.”
Myers Industries has reported full-year 2012 figures, which feature a 40 per cent increase in earnings per share (EPS) growth. This was reportedly driven by productivity gains and new product introductions. 2012 net sales were US$791.2 million compared with $755.7 million in 2011. However, it has to be said that this was mainly held up by strong sales performance in the Engineered Products and Material Handling Segments. In fact, according to the company, it was the relative strength of these segments that “more than offset sales decreases in the Distribution and Lawn & Garden Segments.
When Michelin reported full-year 2012 free cash flow of 1.075 billion euros, financial analysts responded by describing the results as “a strong beat” compared with consensus expectations. However, questions about profitability (and the company’s continued momentum in this respect) remain a subject of discussion amongst the market watchers.
Lanxess AG has lifted its full-year guidance for 2011 on the back of strong second quarter results. The German specialty chemicals company now expects its EBITDA pre-exceptionals to grow about 20 per cent year-on-year after previously forecasting a growth of 10 to 15 per cent. During the second quarter the company’s EBITDA pre-exceptionals rose 26 per cent year-on-year to 339 million euros.
The US replacement consumer tyre market will remain depressed through 2011, according to an update by the Rubber Manufacturers Association, even as OE shipments to automakers are continuing to grow. The RMA now says that replacement P-metric tyre shipments will fall short of even posting 1 per cent growth for the year, “as continued high energy costs, decreases in non-essential driving, and continued economic uncertainties weigh on the consumer.”
A combination of successfully implemented cost-cutting initiatives plus increased tyre prices in international markets are behind Bridgestone Corporation’s release of revised consolidated financial projections for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2011. The Japanese tyre maker now expects to achieve net sales of 1,480,000 million yen (£11.2 billion) during the first half of the current financial year and 3,190,000 million yen (£24.1 billion) for the full year to December 31 – an increase of 10,000 million yen on the projected figures released on February 18. Operating income for the first half has been bumped up to 72,000 million yen (£544.7 million) and 167,000 million yen (£1.3 billion) for the full year, both 27,000 million yen more than projected in February. Ordinary income projections for the half and full year have both also been upwardly revised 27,000 million yen, to 64,000 million yen (£484.2 billion) and 151,000 million yen (£1.1 billion) respectively. Projected net income for the half and full year has been increased by 12,000 million yen to 35,000 million yen (£264.8 million) and 94,000 million yen (£711.1 million).
Following several years in the red Kumho Tires has turned its fortunes around and reported a net profit for the 2010 financial year. The South Korean tyre maker recorded a net income of KRW 8,901 million (£5.01 million) during the year, a marked contrast from the loss of KRW 776,168 million a year earlier. Sales for 2010 amounted to KRW 2,701,990 million (£1.52 billion), a 42.6 per cent year-on-year increase. Operating income during the year was KRW 244,947 million (£137.9 million), as opposed to an operating loss of KRW 213,580 million in 2009.
Data and estimates from the Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC) indicate global supply of natural rubber will grow this year at a slower rate that previously anticipated. Forecasts based on preliminary estimates and reports available up to mid-June point to a 5.2 per cent growth, lower than the 6.3 per cent rate anticipated in March and 6.1 per cent rate anticipated in May.