Michelin, the French tire manufacturer, increased its sales volume target for 2011 after it posted increases in sales and profitability in the first half of the year, thanks to the price increases which were offsetting the rising prices of raw material.
Raw material inflation and the effect of the disruption in the supply chain due to the March disaster in Japan have been in focus while vehicle manufacturers and component parts suppliers have presented quarterly results in recent days.
As for Michelin, the company shared that the Japan disaster hit the market for light truck and car tires in Western Europe by the second quarter.
In addition, the North American market had also suffered from a lack of components parts from Japan, where many electronics suppliers are based.
The company disclosed that the Asian market, except India, dropped by 5 percent in the first half of the year because the impact of the Japan disaster and due to the ending of the government scrapping schemes.
The company further mentioned that it would target a 2011 sales volumes increase of about 8 percent, compared against an earlier goal of at least 6.5 percent, with second-half market growth in the set to return to levels closer to pre-crisis levels.
Sales volumes gained 12.6 percent in the first half, confirming a negative impact of around 1.8 billion euros ($2.59 billion) from high prices in raw material this year. Michelin, which considers Japan's Bridgestone as a major rival, reaffirmed its target of higher 2011 operating income.
Operating profit for the first half of the year increased 18 percent to 971 million euros. Net sales in the same period increased 21 percent to 10.1 billion euros. Analysts from Unicredit had expected sales of 10.247 billion euros and an operating profit of 966 million euros.