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Profits up on Nokian Tyres, Ponsse forest machines

Two Finnish engineering export firms announced second-quarter profits, with Nokian Tyres reporting growing demand in Russia and North America.

Ponssen kuormatraktori.
Ponsse, a family firm in eastern Finland, is a leading producer of specialised forestry machines. Image: Ponsse

Nokian Tyres posted better-than-expected profits in the spring quarter, up by 21.5 percent from a year earlier.

The company upped its sales and profit outlook for this year based on growing demand in North America as well as Russia, where the rouble has been regaining strength.

On Tuesday Nokian announced that its profits were 94 million euros, well above the advance expectations of analysts surveyed by Reuters.

Nokian now expects both overall sales and profits for this year to expand by at least 10 percent. It previously projected sales growth of at least 10 percent, but more cautiously set its profit growth outlook at "more than 5 percent".

Nokian's main factory is in Vsevolozhsk, Russia, near St. Petersburg, with a smaller one and corporate headquarters in Nokia, near Tampere.

Nokian Tyres, which traces its roots back to a rubber factory set up in Helsinki in 1898, was spun off from the main Nokia corporation in 1995 as the firm focused on phones and other electronics.

Nokian recently announced that it will build its third plant in Dayton, Tennessee, spending some 360 million dollars and hiring at least 400 people.

In February, Nokian admitted that it had supplied special high-quality tyres for tests by motoring journalists until last year, leading to stronger test scores – although the models tested were not available to the public.

Buoyed by the news, Nokian's share price gained 6.4 percent on Tuesday, for its best day in nine months.

Modest growth at Ponsse

Meanwhile Ponsse, which bills itself as one of the world's leading manufacturers of forest machines for the cut-to-length method, posted more modest gains in the April-to-June period.

Based in Vieremä, North Savo, Ponsse was started by a local lumberjack in 1970 and has been owned by his family ever since.

Profits were up by just over seven percent at 28 million euros, while turnover rose by nine percent to just under 260 million euros. The firm says profits were hurt by fluctuations in currency values.

New orders climbed by 11 percent, but order books still remain relatively slim. The company predicts that its profits for all of this year will be about the same as in 2016.

Ponsse opened new service centres in Uruguay and France and continued to expand its home plant in Vieremä.

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