Tyre maker Michelin has reported worldwide sales growth of 3.7% for the full year 2003.

Net sales revenue was 5% up in direct comparison with 2002 but pressure from the appreciating euro, especially compared with the US dollar, has seen the 2003 figure reported down 1.8% at €15.4 billion. Whilst global sales, measured in tonnes, grew 3.7%, truck tyre sales improved by 4.2% particularly in North America where original equipment sales to truck makers improved by 4.6%.

Pressures from raw material price increases were experienced during the year and corresponding product price increases had to be made. This significant rise in raw material costs is estimated at a $350 million impact on operating expenses.

Full year earnings will be announced on February 24.