- €862 million in operating income before non-recurring items, compared with €920 million in 2008, reflecting the combined impact of:
- The steep 14.8% decline in unit sales.
- The underutilization of production capacity.
These factors were partly offset by:
- The €318 million reduction in raw materials costs.
- The Group’s firm pricing policy and the resistance of the MICHELIN brand.
- The structural improvement in competitiveness.
- Net income of €104 million, despite a high €412 million in restructuring costs.
- Record low 55% gearing, thanks in particular to tight management of working capital and capex.
- Confirmed target of reporting positive free cash flow in 2010.
- Proposed 2009 dividend of €1.00, subject to approval at the Annual Shareholders Meeting of May 7, 2010.
“In an environment shaped by a historic decline in tire demand, especially in mature economies, Michelin was able to respond quickly and more agilely than ever,” said Michel Rollier, Managing General Partner. “Thanks to the dedicated commitment of our teams and tight management, Michelin has delivered robust performance and improved its major financial metrics, the foundations of its future growth.
The market visibility prevailing in early 2010 and the rising cost of raw materials (particularly natural rubber) are prompting us to exercise extreme vigilance. Michelin is therefore sharply focused on preserving its competitive strengths and increasing its leadership by continuing, as in 2009, to pursue its innovation initiatives, maintain cost discipline and enhance its future growth potential by investing in growth countries. With the constant support of its teams, Michelin is starting 2010 with confidence.”
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This press release is not an offer to purchase or a solicitation to recommend the purchase of Michelin shares. To obtain more detailed information on Michelin, please consult the documents filed in France with Autorité des Marchés Financiers, which are also available from the www.michelin.com website.
This press release may contain a number of forward-looking statements. Although the Company believes that these statements are based on reasonable assumptions as at the time of publishing this document, they are by nature subject to risks and contingencies liable to translate into a difference between actual data and the forecasts made or inferred by these statements.