PARIS -- Michelin, the world's second-largest tiremaker, said profit rose in 2011 on surging demand from European and U.S. truckmakers.
Net income rose 39 percent to 1.46 billion euros ($1.94 billion), beating analysts' expectations, on a 16 percent increase in revenue to 20.72 billion, the French company said on Friday.
The increase in profit came despite a sales volume increase of just 6.7 percent last year, lower than the 8 percent gain the company had forecast.
Before one-time gains and losses, operating income rose 15 percent last year to 1.95 billion euros, or 9.4 percent of sales, compared with a 9.5 percent operating margin in 2010.
Analysts had expected sales of 20.65 billion euros, 1.89 billion in operating profit - after one-time items - and 1.32 billion in net income, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Michelin is targeting a 9 percent return on capital in 2015, while pledging to pay out 30 percent of its profit as dividends.
Sales volumes are seen growing 25 percent by 2015 to 2.5 billion euros ($3.3 billion), compared with an earlier target of 2 billion euros and to 50 percent by 2020.
The French tiremaker, which ranks behind Bridgestone of Japan in global production, raised 1.2 billion euros in a 2010 share issue to finance an emerging market expansion equivalent to adding a new plant each year.
In November, the company sold its 9.98 percent stake in Hankook Tire Co., raising as much as $610 million to add to its expansion fund.
Last April, the company signed a joint venture agreement to produce car and light-truck tires with China's Double Coin Holdings, adding to its four plants in the world's biggest car market.
In a statement on Friday, Chief Executive Michel Rollier said Managing Partner Jean-Dominique Senard, named last year to succeed him, would take over the top job at the company's May 11 shareholder meeting.
Michelin ranks No. 47 on the Automotive News Europe list of the top 100 global suppliers with worldwide original-equipment automotive parts sales of $3.75 billion in 2010.
Sources: Reuters and Bloomberg