A delayed start in winter tire sales in Central Europe and Russia as well as a deeper retail slump in Russia has weakened volumes, according to Nokian Tyres. In 2015, with current exchange rates, Nokian Tyres’s net sales will decline slightly compared with 2014, and operating profit is estimated to be approximately €270-€295m (US$300-US$328).
Ari Lehtoranta, president and CEO of Nokian Tyres, commented, “Russia has been able to avoid the worst case economic scenario and confidence in the market is gradually returning. However, the situation is very volatile and in most retail segments the volumes and ASPs have been very low, especially in the second quarter. In new car and tire sales, the Russian market has been lower than we expected, and tire purchasing has moved more toward lower B and C segments.
“This year we have seen a clear timing shift in the start of winter tire pre-sales compared with earlier years, not only in Russia but also in most of Europe. The whole tire market has grown this year in Europe by 2%, but winter tire deliveries are 11% below H1/2014 levels. We believe this will balance in the second half, but the sell-in market volumes are now more dependent on a good winter season.
“In Central Europe our sales declined due to the delay of the winter tire pre-sales and also due to lower deliveries to few bigger customers with higher inventories. We estimate our market share growth to continue in coming quarters.”
August 12, 2015