Michelin has posted 2015 operating income up EUR407m (US$455m) to EUR2.58bn, with tonnages up 3.2%, outpacing the market in all business segments, especially in passenger car and light truck tyres (up 6.7%).

The Group also unveiled increases in the fourth quarter of 4.2% and 8.7% for passenger car and light truck tyres, as well as a significant rise in operating margin thanks to a good second half (12.3%), particularly for: passenger car and light truck tires: 12.2%, up 2.6 points versus second-half 2014.

Truck tyres were: 11.1%, up 2.6 points versus second-half 2014.

“In 2015, we successfully drove profitable, over-market growth in tonnages sold and gained new market share in all our businesses, thanks to the quality of the Group’s offering,” said Michelin CEO Jean-Dominique Senard.

“Our growth and margins have both improved significantly. Looking forward to 2016 and beyond, we have to continue our efforts in four areas: enhancing customer service, streamlining operating procedures, deploying digital solutions and increasing the empowerment of our teams. With our strengthened fundamentals, the Group is on the right track.”

For 2016, Michelin says demand for passenger car, light truck and truck tyres is expected to continue rising in mature markets and remain in line with 2015 trends in new ones.

Demand for speciality tyres is expected to continue to be affected by mining company inventory draw-downs.

In this environment, Michelin’s objectives for 2016 are volume growth in line at least with global trends in its operating markets, an increase in operating income before non-recurring items at constant exchange rates, and structural free cash flow of more than EUR800m.

For 2016-2020, the Group is setting targets in terms of operating margins before non-recurring items, between 11% and 15% in the passenger car and light truck tyre segment, 9% and 13% in the truck tyre sector and 17% and 24% in the speciality area.