Michelin reports profit rise, cautious for this year

French tyre-making giant Michelin reported on Tuesday a 7.4-percent rise in net profit in 2012 with a boost from capital gains but was cautious about this year while holding medium-term targets.

The group reported a rise in net profit from the 2011 level to 1.6 billion euros ($2.14 billion) and said that operating profit before non-recurrent items surged by 25.0 percent to 2.4 billion euros.

But the price of shares in the company fell by 3.73 percent in early trading to 69.99 euros, marking the biggest fall on the CAC 40 index which was down overall by 0.23 percent.

In the last 12 months, the share has risen by about 30.0 percent.

At Global Equities, trader Xavier de Villepion commented that "this good news is behind us and has been factored in by the market for a long time."

He said that the outlook for this year looked far more uncertain, and this was a concern to investors.

The group said that the outcome for 2012 reflected effective pricing, the strength of a global presence and a limited impact from the price of raw materials.

Sales rose by 3.6 percent to 21.5 billion euros but the volume of business fell by 6.4 percent because demand remained sluggish in the second half of the year, Michelin said.

The group said it expected to pay a dividend of 2.40 euros per share for 2012.

The company was cautious about the outlook for this year. It said it was aiming for stable sales volumes, a stable operating profit before non-recurrent items and at current exchange rates, and positive cash flow.

The group stood by its outlook for 2015 of an operating profit of 2.9 billion euros.