October 22, 2019 / 5:04 PM / 23 days ago

Finnish tyre maker Nokian warns weaker demand will hit 2019 sales

(Reuters) - Finnish tyre maker Nokian Renkaat (TYRES.HE) warned on Tuesday its 2019 sales would be lower than earlier forecast due to weak car and tyre markets, and it expects markets to remain soft.

Nokian said it now sees 2019 net sales in comparable currencies at about the level of 2018 and operating profit margin at the 20% level. It had earlier forecast slight sales growth and operating profit weakening from 2018.

Analysts’ average forecast stood, before the company’s warning, at 0.3% sales growth and at a 21% operating profit margin, according to Refinitiv data.

“The company expects markets to remain soft, and Nokian Renkaat continues to adjust capacity in its factories accordingly,” Nokian said in a statement.

Last month, Nokian said European distributors were holding back from buying costly winter tyres due to high inventories, and it expected weakness in sales volume throughout Central Europe to continue during the remainder of the year.

Nokian issued the warning after the market closed in Helsinki.

Reporting by Tarmo Virki @virki; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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