Review by the President and CEO
Hille Korhonen, President and CEO (Interim Report January-September 2018):
“In January−September 2018, our performance was good and we grew faster than the market. With comparable currencies, net sales increased by 8.7%. Operating profit increased slightly compared to the first nine months of 2017, despite a significant negative currency impact. Net sales in July−September were negatively impacted by high inventory levels of summer tires in Russia and lower new car sales in Sweden and Norway.
The construction work at our new US factory in Dayton, Tennessee, is proceeding as planned, and commercial production is planned to begin in 2020. The test center project in Spain is ongoing and on schedule. Both the US factory and the Spanish test center will be major assets to us as we are focusing on our next stage of growth. We are aiming at doubling our sales in North America and growing our sales by 50% in Central Europe in the next 5 years, as well as maintaining our market leader positions in the Nordics and Russia. In line with our strategic target to grow in Central Europe, we had two major product launches in October, launching two new summer tires for the Central European markets: the Nokian Powerproof and the Nokian Wetproof.
Sustainability is an important part of our strategy, and I am particularly proud to announce that we were again included in Dow Jones’ DJSI World sustainability index. Our company was also selected for the more strictly defined DJSI Europe index.”