July 27, 2020 / 3:56 PM / 17 days ago

Michelin cuts earnings targets due to coronavirus crisis

FILE PHOTO: A company truck enters the Bamberg branch of French tyre manufacturer Michelin in Bamberg, Germany, February 13, 2020. Picture taken February 13, 2020. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert

PARIS (Reuters) - French tire maker Michelin (MICP.PA) said on Monday that its operating profit fell 78.4% in the first half due to the impact of the coronavirus crisis on the automobile market.

In the first half of the year, Michelin booked an operating profit of 310 million euros (282.18 million pounds), from 1.44 billion in the year-earlier period.

Fearing that the health crisis of the first half will be followed by an economic crisis in the second half, the firm gave a cautious outlook, for a 2020 operating profit higher than 1.2 billion euros, well below the 3 billion euros earned in 2019.

Michelin also said it now expects its 2020 free cash flow will come in at more than 500 million euros, down from an initial objective of 1.5 billion euros. Both targets depend on the absence of further COVID-19 impact.

Reporting by Gilles Guillaume; Writing by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Benoit Van Overstraeten

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