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Michelin announces sales of €15 billion for the first nine months of 2020, down 15% at constant exchange rates,
with a decline of 5% in the third quarter reflecting an upturn in business.
The Group is revising its guidance for 2020 upwards.
- After falling steeply in the second quarter due to the health crisis, global tire demand picked up more strongly than expected in the third quarter.
- Passenger car and Light truck tires: demand plunged 17% over the first nine months, with a 6% decline in the third quarter demonstrating a robust quarter-on-quarter upturn.
- Truck tires: markets ended the first nine months down 14%, with strong Original Equipment demand in China limiting the third-quarter decline to 6%.
- Specialty businesses: markets remained in line with first-half trends, with the recovery in Agricultural tire sales and the rebound in the Two-Wheel segment offsetting a slowdown in the Mining business, which felt the effects of the health crisis with a lag of a few months.
- Over the full nine months, sales were down by 16.8% year-on-year (of which a 1.7% decline from the currency effect), reflecting:
- A 17% decline in volumes, cushioned by a stronger than expected third quarter (down 6.7%). The Automotive (Original Equipment and Replacement) and Specialty businesses gained market share, but the Road Transportation business was impacted by an unfavorable geographic mix.
- A 1.7% improvement in the price-mix, attributable to:
- the strength of the MICHELIN brand in a crisis environment and the continued market share gains in the 18-inch and larger tire market.
- disciplined price management, notably in response to declines in certain currencies, which offset the negative impact of raw materials-based price indexation clauses.
- A 0.3% increase from changes in the scope of consolidation.
- The Michelin Group’s financial strength enabled it to refinance its syndicated credit line and raise it to €2.5 billion. The actual cost will depend directly on the Group’s ability to meet environmental and social objectives, confirming its commitment to “All Sustainable” growth.
Throughout the Covid-19 crisis, the Group has consistently demonstrated its robust strength and the ability of its teams to engage with customers, partners and their host communities. Managing Chairman Florent Menegaux has also emphasized the Group’s determination to consolidate its leadership in the tire businesses by becoming more structurally competitive while also investing in emerging industries, such as hydrogen mobility and biomaterials.
Outlook for 2020
In a still highly uncertain environment, and taking into account the recent change in tire demand, Passenger car and Light truck tire markets are expected to decline by 13% to 15% over the year, Truck tire markets by between 12% and 14% and the Specialty markets by 15% to 19%. With these new forecasts and the cost reductions linked to the circumstances, the Group is revising its guidance for 2020 upwards, with segment operating income in excess of €1.6 billion at constant exchange rates and structural free cash flow* in excess of €1.2 billion, barring any new systemic effect** from Covid-19.
* Structural free cash flow corresponds to free cash flow before acquisitions, adjusted for the impact of changes in raw material costs on trade payables, trade receivables and inventories.
** Restrictions on freedom of movement that would result in a significant drop in the tire markets.