By Denna Bowman
Strong tyres sales have led the Pirelli group to raise its predicted operating targets for 2009.
The Italian conglomerate Pirelli and C SpA announced the forecast after posting a third-quarter net profit at the top end of expectations.
Full-year sales are expected to top the target set in February for 4.3 billion euros ($6.4 billion), the company said in a statement.
It said: “In the light of the first nine months results it is foreseeable that the full year … will conclude with Pirelli reaching and for some indicators improving on targets set in the business plan in February.”
The statement confirmed that the trend is “above all thanks to the positive trend in Pirelli Tyre”.
The third-quarter net profit of 11.9 million euros compared with three analysts’ forecasts ranging from a 1 million euro loss to a profit of 12 million euros.
Looking ahead to 2010, chairman Marco Tronchetti Provera told a conference call that Pirelli could buy a “quite new” tyre plant in Russia during the first half while it also plans a second plant in the country.
Provera added: “The second is a greenfield plant for truck tyres. We will not start building the plant until the second half of next year.
“We expect a recovery (in Russia) at the end of 2010 or in first half of 2011. We start production at end of 2010, first half of 2011. We are in a joint venture. Our investment won’t exceed 50 million euros.”