(Adds details on Russia, outlook for 2014)
HELSINKI Oct 31 Finnish tyre maker Nokian
Renkaat's quarterly operating profit rose more than
expected as it expanded market share in Russia, its biggest
The company reiterated its recently-lowered outlook for
2013, forecasting a decline in net sales and operating profit
due to a slowdown in Russia's economy and the impact of an
unfavourable rouble exchange rate.
It said pricing pressure would most likely continue in
Russia, where sales of new cars have fallen and Japanese rivals
have lowered prices, but that there should be some improvement
"We do not foresee any major improvement in demand short
term but there are some signs of improvement already in the
second half and going into 2014," Chief Executive Kim Gran said
in a statement.
The winter tyre specialist's expansion into Russia has been
seen as a strength amid Europe's recession, but earlier this
month it cut its full-year outlook for the second time in two
months citing the country's slower GDP growth.
Nokian Renkaat books about 40 percent of its sales in
roubles, and a weaker currency exchange rate against the euro
lowers the value of revenue repatriated to Finland.
It said its third-quarter earnings before interest and tax
(EBIT) rose 12 percent to 95.7 million euros ($131.79 million),
beating the average analyst forecast of 90 million in a Reuters
($1 = 0.7262 euros)
(Reporting by Ritsuko Ando; Editing by David Cowell and