The economic performance of Pirelli was positive again in 2013 in terms of net sales, as fully discussed in its Annual Financial Report 2013. This result is accompanied by the increase in production volumes that occurred from the previous year. The number of tons of finished product in 2013 was up by about 4.5% (increase calculated on a like-for-like basis). In regard to the performance of conventional indices based on this latter parameter, the increase in volumes has made it possible to increase the rate of use of manufacturing sites by interrupting the previous negative trend and improving the energy efficiency of investments that are made. In any case, it must be remembered that, in regard to the Group strategy of continuous pushing towards premium products, the latter are characterised by significant earnings margins but, on the other hand, also by extremely intense energy use. This stems from very stringent quality standards, smaller production lots than those for products made for the medìumlow end segment, and obviously on more complex processing in a greater number of phases.
From this it is inferred that indices generally improved in 2013, when they are calculated according to the number of tons of finished product, even if the trend of standardised operating income indicators worsened instead. This was due not so much to the efficiency of Pirelli production processes but to stabilisation in PBIT when production volumes increase. However, if the view is expanded to the last three years, the performance of this last KPI is even more positive.