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Nokian Tyres beats Q1 forecasts as recovery gains traction

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STOCKHOLM, May 4 (Reuters) - Finnish tyre maker Nokian Tyres beat first-quarter earnings forecasts on Tuesday as a recovery in demand from the pandemic helped it to deliver sales volumes at an all-time high.

The company, which competes with Michelin and Continental, said it anticipated further significant growth in sales and profit this year, but that the COVID-19 pandemic was still causing uncertainty.

Sales rose 22% to 341.8 million euros ($410.5 million) in the quarter, versus the 312.6 million euros expected by analysts in a Refinitiv poll.

"Demand for replacement tires has recovered rapidly since the end of 2020. In the first quarter we reached an all-time high sales volume," Chief Executive Jukka Moisio said in a statement.

Nokian reported 44.3 million euros in quarterly operating profit, up from 9.0 million a year earlier and beating analysts' mean forecast of 37.4 million.

The company's shares, up roughly 8% so far this year, were 3.8% higher at 1117 GMT.

Nokian said in March it would raise output to three million tyres in 2021 and to four million next year, up from two million in 2020.

$1 = 0.8326 euros Reporting by Helena Soderpalm and Essi Lehto. Editing by Mark Potter

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