Fri October 27 12:00 am 2000 in category Stock exchange releases
Nokian Tyres plc Stock Exchange Bulletin, Oct.27,2000 8.00 am.


Earnings per share stood at 0.26 euros (corresponding figures for 1999:0.95 euros). Net sales increased by 29.9% and totalled 258.6 million euros (199 million euros). Operating profit was 11.9 million euros (18.4 million euros). Profit for the year will be lower than estimated due to increases in raw material prices, expenses arising from structural changes and sales falling below the expected targets.

Net sales for January-September 2000 amounted to 258.6 million euros (199 million euros), which is 29.9% higher than in the corresponding period of the previous year. Commensurate net sales, that is, net sales excluding the 1999 and 2000 acquisitions were 219,9 million euros (199 million euros), which is 10.5% higher than the previous year. The percentage of foreign invoicing was 67% (76%) of net sales.

Sales were affected by a decline in the demand for winter tyres in the Nordic countries, the delayed onset of the winter tyre season and supply problems in off-take manufacturing. Additionally, the internal sales chain within the group has become longer due to which profit can be seen in the company's account as and when consumers buy the products.

Fixed costs increased by 34.1 million euros, which is 50.9% higher than the previous year and amounted to 101.3 million euros (67 million euros). Structural changes in the tyre chain amounted to 67% of the increase in fixed costs. Commensurate fixed costs were 16.9% higher than the previous year.

Operating profit stood at 11.9 million euros (18.4 million euros). Operating profit from manufacturing stood at 23.4 million euros (23.9 million euros) and operating profit from the tyre chain stood at -9.4 million euros (-3.8 million euros). Net financial expenses stood at 7.2 million euros (4.4 million euros).

Raw material prices increased by 11.2% on the average price last year. The lack of own compound mixing capacity increased raw material costs as rubber compounds had to be purchased from other manufacturers. This increased the overall effects of raw material costs to 12.5%.

Profit before tax showed 4.7 million euros (13.9 million euros). Profit for this financial period showed 2.7 million euros (9.9 million euros). Commensurate profit for the financial period was 8.0 million euros. Earnings per share was 0.26 euros (0.95 euros).

The average number of employees in the group was 2,418 (1,848) and at the end of the review period the company had 2,533 (1,862) employees. The increase in personnel was highest in the tyre chain, which employed 1,055 (447) people at the end of the review period.

Nokian passenger car tyre sales increased by 11.2% on the corresponding period in the previous year and amounted to 124.1 million euros (111.7 million euros). Sales were lower than planned in Finland, Sweden and Norway. Sales in Eastern Europe and the Alpine Region increased clearly. The planned price increases were implemented and the improved sales mix enabled a greater than planned increase in the average price.

Demand for passenger car winter tyres decreased in the Nordic countries and in Sweden in particular. The increased demand for high-speed summer tyres continued in nearly all main market areas in Europe. In the Nordic countries, the onset of the winter tyre season was later than usual. Tyre retailers in Sweden overestimated demand due to winter tyres becoming compulsory last year and, as a result, warehouses were stocked with plenty of winter tyres from the previous season. Market prices for tyres declined at the beginning of the year, but started to rise again in the autumn.

At the beginning of the winter tyre season, the sales outlook for the end of the year is looking good as sales are focusing on new products with higher margins.

Demand for forestry tyres and special radial tyres was high.

Nokian heavy tyre sales were 40.8 million euros (39.7 million euros), that is, 2.9% more than the previous year. Low demand for truck tyres affected sales in Norway in particular. Additionally, supply problems in off-take manufacturing of agricultural tyres and truck tyres had a negative effect on sales. Forestry and harbour machinery tyre sales were good.

The outlook for the end of the year is good and the order books are looking healthy. The sales focus for the final quarter is on premium tyres.

Nokian bicycle tyre sales stood at 4.8 million euros (5.3 million euros), which is 9.9% lower than the previous year.
Nokian Tyres continues measures to increase the added value of the product range and production. In addition, actions to restructure the delivery chain both in Finland and on the export markets are under way. Implementation of the company specialisation strategy also continues.

Nokian Tyres' retreading material sales stood at 7.4 million euros (7.5 million euros), which is at the same level as the previous year. Reduced demand for passenger car retreading materials in Finland and Sweden had a negative effect on sales.

Instead, sales of truck tyre retreading materials were good on all main market areas and sales outlook for the end of the year is positive.

Net sales of Nokian tyre chain stood at 107.9 million euros (43.0 million euros), which is 152% higher than in the corresponding period of 1999. Commensurate net sales, that is net sales without the 1999 and 2000 acquisitions, stood at 48.9 million euros.

In the Nordic countries, low demand for passenger car winter tyres and the delayed onset of the winter tyre season affected sales. As winter tyres became compulsory in Sweden last year, there are now two more clearly separated tyre seasons. Previously, Swedish consumers were buying summer tyres in the autumn as well, but now they are transferring their summer tyre purchases to the spring season.

The sales outlook for the end of the year is good, except in Sweden.

The project to unite and unify Nokian Tyres' tyre chain under a common name and visual identity was completed during the review period. The new name of the Nordic tyre chain is Vianor that used to be the name of Nokian Tyres' Norwegian tyre chain. In Finland, the Isko and Mestarit groups' outlets will be renamed Vianor. In Sweden, Vianor will replace the names of the private chains. Measures to streamline the structure of the tyre chain and to unify and enhance the effectiveness of it are in progress.

During the review period, Nokian Tyres' investments stood at 44.5 million euros (30.9 million euros). The most significant individual investment in the year 2000 is the expansion of the mixing department, which is an investment of 33 million euros. The investment will be partly financed by operational lease. The investment will be completed by the summer of 2001. Total investments in the year 2000 will amount to 60 million euros.

The court of arbitration confirmed Nokian tyres' right of redemption
On 16 August 2000 the court of arbitration appointed by the Finnish Central Chamber of Commerce confirmed in its session that Nokian Tyres plc has an undisputed right to redeem the minority shares in Isko Oyj and approved the security issued by Nokian Tyres plc.
Pursuant to the Companies Act Nokian Tyres had the right to receive title to the minority shares of Isko, as it had issued a security approved by the Court of Arbitration, whereafter its portion of the shares in Isko rose to 100%. The minority shareholders of Isko did not need to take any measures with regard to the information. The court of arbitration appointed by the Central Chamber of Commerce was to determine the redemption price on 11 September 2000.

On 16 August 2000, Isko filed an application regarding the removal of its shares from the I-list of Helsinki Stock Exchange with the Board of Directors of the Helsinki Stock Exchange.On 11 September 2000, the court of arbitration determined the redemption price to be FIM 151.00 per share.
Co-operation between Nokian Tyres and Michelin Group

On 29 September, Nokian Tyres and Michelin Group signed a frame agreement on co-operation. On 5 October two manufacturing agreements were signed on manufacturing Nokian branded agricultural, industrial and truck tyres at Michelin factories. The agreements are valid for three years, after which they are to be confirmed annually.

The test manufacturing of agricultural and industrial tyres is already in progress at the Michelin factory in Poland. The first tyres are targeted to enter the market during the year 2000. During recent years, these tyres have accounted for a total of 3-4% of the net sales of Nokian Heavy Tyres.

Truck tyre manufacturing co-operation has also started and the first tyres will be manufactured during the year 2001 at Michelin's new truck tyre factory in Poland. Truck tyres have amounted to approximately 15% of Nokian Tyres' net sales.

Off-take manufacturing co-operation with Michelin provides Nokian Tyres with an opportunity to boost sales in these product areas, to expand the product range and to enhance customer service. Additionally, off-take manufacturing enables Nokian Tyres to focus on own manufacturing of core products and presents an opportunity to enhance productivity.

Intelligent tyre technology combined with Bluetooth from Nokian Tyres

On 23 October, the company informed that as the first tyre manufacturer in the world, Nokian Tyres has developed an intelligent tyre technology system that communicates directly with the driver's mobile phone in the future. The system sends real-time data on tyre pressures to the driver's mobile phone without the need to install any extra equipment in the vehicle. Nokian Tyres owns the rights to the product concept and a patent for the system is pending.

In the Nokian Tyres' intelligent tyre technology system, there is a constant connection between the tyres mounted on the vehicle. The intelligent chip in the tyre acts as a measuring instrument, registers the tyre pressures and changes in tyre temperatures and transmits the data to the receiver, the driver's Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone, which supports the user interface of the system.

The functionality of the Nokian Tyres intelligent tyre project will progress along with the development of the required technologies.
In the first phase, Nokian Tyres' intelligent tyre technology focuses on measuring tyre temperature and pressure.
Later applications and further development areas include, for example, preventing aquaplaning and slushplaning, monitoring tyre wear, anti-theft devices, vehicle positioning and logistics solutions.

With the intelligent tyre technology system, Nokian Tyres has entered a new area of technology and business. During the year 2001, the company aims to commercialise and globalise the system. The process of selecting co-operation partners for the different application areas, has been started.

The first commercial applications of the intelligent tyre technology system will be implemented on truck and van tyres as well as passenger car tyres with high-speed ratings.

The intelligent tyre technology system has been developed in co-operation with Flextronics International, Nokia, the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT)and VTI Hamlin.

In the tyre market, demand for premium tyres is still expected to grow. The prices of raw materials are estimated to continue to increase. According to the latest forecasts, they are expected to increase by 15% on the previous year. The increase in raw material prices leads to considerable price pressure on the tyre business. This gives Nokian Tyres an opportunity to review pricing again this year.

Nokian Tyres' manufacturing and tyre chain will focus strongly on sales during the final quarter of the year and on the highly important winter tyre season. The product range will include plenty of new products with high margins and promising sales prospects. Nokian branded tyres have gained clear first positions in tyre tests of main motor magazines in the Nordic countries. Test wins support sales efforts. Order books are on a high level in all product areas.

Due to record-breaking investments and structural changes, the proportion of fixed costs in the group has grown significantly compared with the increase in net sales. Special measures are being applied to streamline the structure of the group and to restrict the increase in fixed costs. Measures to increase sales and production volumes have also been started. The objective of these actions is to ensure profitability in the coming years.

The company anticipates sales growth to exceed 20% in the year 2000, but profits are estimated to remain slightly below last year's level.

Nokia, 26 October, 2000



7-9/00 7-9/99 1-9/00 1-9/99 Last 12 1-12/99
Million euros months
Net sales 106.4 77.6 258.6 199.0 382.2 322.6
Operating expenses 83.7 59.6 225.5 167.3 319.0 260.7
Depreciation according
to plan 9.4 4.6 21.3 13.4 27.6 19.8
Operating profit 13.3 13.4 11.9 18.4 35.6 42.1
Financial income
and expenses -2.8 -2.0 -7.2 -4.4 -8.9 -6.2
Profit before extra-
ordinary items and tax 10.5 11.4 4.7 13.9 26.7 35.9
Extraordinary items 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 -0.4 -0.4
Direct tax for the year 3.7 3.1 1.9 4.0 7.7 9.8
Profit applicable to
minority shareholders 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Net profit 6.9 8.3 2.7 9.9 18.5 25.7
30.9.00 30.9.99 31.12.99

Goodwill 51.5 13.9 50.7
Fixed assets 196.4 142.7 163.6
Inventories 95.4 68.6 68.4
Receivables 121.4 119.6 94.9
Cash in hand and at bank 5.8 5.9 14.3

Shareholders' equity 115.0 104.0 121.0
Capital loan 36.0
Minority shareholders' interest 0.1 0.1
Long-term liabilities
Interest bearing 145.0 117.0 127.5
Non interest bearing 17.0 13.8 16.6
Current liabilities
Interest bearing 78.7 57.1 57.2
Non interest bearing 78.7 58.8 69.4

Total assets 470.5 350.8 391.8

Interest bearing net debt 217.9 168.2 170.4
Capital expenditures 44.5 30.9 85.7
Personnel, average 2 418 1 848 2 023

KEY RATIOS 30.9.00 30.9.99 Last 12 31.12.99
Earnings per share, euro 0.26 0.95 1.80 2.51
Equity ratio, % *) 32.1 29.7 30.9
Equity ratio,% 24.5 29.7 30.9
Gearing,% *) 144.2 161.7 140.6
Shareholders' equity
per share, euro *) 14.27 9.97 11.47
Number of shares
(1,000 units) 10 582 10 437 10 545
*) Capital loan is included
in equity

Taxes for the review period have
been calculated on taxable
income for the period.


Million euros
Mortgages 9.5 0.5 7.4
Mortgage on company assets 5.6 0.0 11.4
Assets pledged 0.1 0.0 0.1
Guarantees 5.0 1.2 1.2

Mortgages or assets pledged
as security for loans 7.9 0.4 6.5
Mortgages will be significantly
reduced by the end of the year
through the rearrangement of
loans for tyre supply operations.

Guarantees 0.0 0.0 0.0
Leasing and rent
commitments 15.3 2.7 3.0
Acquisition commitments 4.4 0.0 5.1
Not entered interest on
capital loan 1.3
Interest rate swaps
Fair value 0.3 0.7 0.3
Underlying value 8.4 8.4 8.4
Options, purchased
Fair value 0.1 0.0 0.0
Underlying value 5.0 0.0 5.0
Forward contracts
Fair value -1.2 0.6 -1.3
Underlying value 51.4 62.5 58.4
Options, purchased
Fair value 0.0 0.1 0.1
Underlying value 6.0 6.0 7.0
Options, written
Fair value -1.1 0.0 -0.2
Underlying value 16.0 7.0 11.0

Currency derivatives are used to hedge the Group's net exposure. Currency derivatives are included in the financial result at market
value except for those relating to order stock and budgeted net
currency positions, which are entered in the profit and loss
account as the cash flow is received. (Unaudited figures)
Nokian Tyres plc
Raila Hietala-Hellman
Vice President, Public Information

Further information: President and CEO, Kim Gran,
tel. +358 3 340 7336.

Distribution: HEX and major media