At a time when it is investing in new European capacity and exiting Russia, Finland’s Nokian Tyres has announced a reorganisation of its structure and management. These measures centre upon a combining of all Passenger Car Tyres commercial operations under the leadership of Anna Hyvönen, who currently serves as executive vice-president North America, Nordics and Vianor. Bahri Kurter, executive vice-president Central Europe at Nokian Tyres, is leaving the company to “pursue his career outside of Nokian Tyres.”
Due to the war in Ukraine and subsequent, tightening sanctions, Nokian Tyres plc has determined that it is “no longer feasible nor sustainable” to continue operations in Russia. The Finnish tyre maker’s Board of Directors thus decided today to initiate a controlled exit from this market. Exit preparations start immediately and Nokian Tyres will evaluate different options for its departure, with “due consideration to local employees and legislation.”
Nokian Tyres is “preparing for the future” by purchasing three hectares of land near its factory in Nokia, Finland – but it says this site won’t be home to its planned European manufacturing facility. The tyre maker says the property’s location in the immediate vicinity of its factory and headquarters “enables synergies in future development projects.”
Although the war in Ukraine and subsequent sanctions continue to “cause significant uncertainty” for Nokian Tyres’ operating environment, especially in regards to its business in Russia, on Friday the company reported that demand for its tyres has nonetheless remained good. For this reason, and after successfully implementing price increases to mitigate the impact of inflation, Nokian Tyres has raised its net sales guidance for 2022.
Olli Seppälä, formerly head of research and development at Nokian Tyres, parted ways with the tyre maker last week. The decision to move on after almost two decades wasn’t one taken lightly, Seppälä reports, adding that he leaves a company that “has a stronger product portfolio than ever” as well as “even better products in the pipeline and capable, talented employees who lead and drive the company forward.”
The latest EU sanctions against Russia will seriously affect Nokian Tyres and its business in Europe. The tyre maker says the sanctions will have a “significant impact” on its ability to manufacture tyres in Russia, which will reduce its ability to sell tyres in the EU, and within Central Europe in particular.
Nokian Tyres is expediting “plans to invest in new production capacity in Europe” in response to the sanctions against Russia, where the company has significant levels of tyre production. Specifically, Nokian’s board of directors will cut the dividend payable to shareholders by 106 million euros to fund the new capacity. Nokian Tyres will also increase capacity at its factories in Finland and the US with a view to becoming more geographically diversified in its manufacturing operations.
The war in Ukraine has brought “high uncertainty” to Nokian Tyres’ operational environment and manufacturing capacity, and as a result it is accelerating plans to invest in new production capacity in Europe. To help fund this capacity, the Board of Directors at Nokian tyres has decided to decrease the dividend payable for the 2021 financial year.
Nokian Tyres has explained the decision to retain its manufacturing operation in Russia, a facility that reportedly produced 82 per cent of Nokian’s passenger and light commercial vehicle tyres last year. The Finnish tyre maker states that by continuing to operate the passenger car tyre factory in Vsevolozhsk, Russia it wants to “make sure that the factory is operated and controlled by Nokian Tyres also in the future.”
The crisis in Ukraine has impacted upon Nokian Tyres’ business in multiple ways, and the company has now activated contingency plans to “mitigate the financial and operational impacts” upon business. At the same time, it has donated 100,000 euros to UNICEF to help children in the war zone.
Nokian Tyres posted all-time record sales in the past financial year. The Finnish manufacturer reports that its sales rose by 29.7 per cent (comparable currencies) to 1.71 billion euros. Operating profit also improved considerably, rising 123.5 per cent to 268.2 million euros. This resulted in an operating margin of 15.6 per cent, up 6.5 percentage points on the 2020 result. The tyre maker’s Board of Directors has proposed a dividend of 1.32 euros per share, to be paid in two instalments.
Nokian Tyres has introduced the first model in a family of tyres it says will “strongly support” the company’s growth targets in coming years. This is the Nokian Tyres Outpost AT, an all-season tyre for SUVs, crossovers and light trucks that “delivers safe, durable driving on any road – or off the road.” The Finnish manufacturer plans to sell this all-terrain product in markets all around the world.
Round the clock, seven days a week production will soon be reality at the Nokian Tyres plant in Nokia, Finland. The tyre maker says the change to this format should “significantly” increase production capacity for passenger car tyres. Nokian is creating approximately 80 new jobs at the factory to accommodate this higher capacity.
New sizes have joined the Nokian E-Truck medium/regional haul and Nokian R-Truck on-/off-road ranges. Nokian Tyres has introduced a steer axle Nokian E-Truck Steer fitment in size 385/55R22.5 as well as a Nokian R-Truck Trailer tyre in size 285/70R19.5.
Nokian Tyres has regained its operational strength. The Finnish manufacturer shares that its sales rose by more than a third in the first nine months of this year, while operating profit more than quadrupled over the same period, nudging the margin up to 17.9 per cent.