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August 1, 2009

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Home » Business » Auto

Tire maker loses US$172m in first half

FRENCH tire maker Michelin yesterday posted a net loss of 122 million euros (US$172 million) in the first half as car and truck makers slashed production and as the company incurred costs for restructuring.

The quarterly loss compared to net profit of 430 million euros a year earlier. Revenues fell 13.4 percent to 7.13 billion euros.

Chief Executive Officer Michel Rollier said Michelin has introduced shorter working hours in several countries to deal with the downturn in sales. He said inventories have returned to "more normal levels" but "not to the extent that we can talk about a real upturn."

Like auto makers Renault SA and PSA Peugeot Citroen, Michelin, which is based in Clermont-Ferrand, aims to generate positive free cash flow at the year end to help it ride out the crisis.

In the first half Michelin generated 575 million euros in free cash flow, compared with a negative 445 million euros a year earlier, after a 580 million euro reduction in inventory.

Michelin said markets for car and light truck tires showed signs of stabilizing in the second quarter.


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