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French tire maker Michelin's net income slides 24 percent

French tire maker Michelin reported a 24 percent fall in 2013 net profit as volatility in foreign exchange markets hit its earnings.

The manufacturer's net profit came in at 1.13 billion euros, below forecasts of 1.37 billion euros in a Reuters poll of analysts. Sales for the year also fell to 20.3 billion euros from 21.5 billion a year earlier. The firm's speciality tire business, which makes tires for agricultural machinery and aircraft among other things, slipped from 26 percent of overall business to 20.6 percent.

Michelin CFO Marc Henry told CNBC the group was keeping its long-term forecasts.

"We are sticking with our long term economic objective. The exchange rate volatility,especially in emerging markets and an exceptionally strong euro, has been most difficult for an international company like Michelin. However we are happy we have still managed to increase our operating result this year," he said.

"We saw a definitive improvement in mature markets in the second half of this year, in both the European market and passenger car in North America, and we are taking advantage of it," said Henry.

"We have seen a pick-up in volumes in the European car market, the worst of the crisis is over. The recovery in under way, we think we have seen the worst in 2013," he added.

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