Michelin hikes sales volumes target after H1 rise

Reuters

PARIS (Reuters) - French tire manufacturer Michelin <MICP.PA> hiked its 2011 sales volume target after a rise in sales and profitability in the first half, and said its price increases were offsetting raw material price rises. The group said it would target a 2011 increase in sales volumes of about 8 percent, versus an earlier target of at least 6.5 percent, with market growth in the second half set to return to levels closer to those seen before the industry crisis.

It confirmed a negative impact of about 1.8 billion euros ($2.59 billion) from high raw material prices this year and said previously announced or implemented price increases should offset it.

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First half operating profit rose 18 percent to 971 million euros, while net sales in the first six months rose 21 percent to 10.1 billion euros.

German rival Continental <CONG.DE> was also reporting first half results on Friday.

(Reporting by Helen Massy-Beresford; Editing by Christian Plumb)