Review by the President and CEO
Hille Korhonen, President and CEO (Half Year Financial Report January-June 2018):
"We had a good first half of the year with growth in all our main markets. With comparable currencies, net sales increased by 12.5%. Operating profit increased compared to the first half of 2017, driven by the improved performance of Passenger Car Tyres and Vianor. In Heavy Tyres, especially sales of agricultural tyres and forestry tyres performed well.
In order to support our growth, we have decided to increase our production capacity for passenger car tyres in Finland by approximately 1 million tyres by starting to run the factory six days a week. With this capacity increase, more than 80 new people will be hired for passenger car tyre production.
In line with our strategic target to grow in Central Europe and North America, we have two major investments ongoing. We have started the project to build a testing center in Spain for the purposes of developing and testing new summer and all season tyres in particular. The construction work at our new US factory in Dayton, Tennessee, is also proceeding as planned.
I am particularly proud to announce that in the area of sustainability, during April−June 2018, we joined the Science Based Targets initiative and we are committed to setting climate targets based on current research. The new climate goals will be linked to our value chain as well as the environmental impacts of our products."