Michelin keeps its 2019 guidance despite deteriorating auto market

PARIS, Oct 24 (Reuters) - French tyre maker Michelin cut its full-year market forecasts again on Thursday, pointing out a sharper-than-expected downturn in the truck segment, but the company maintained its full-year guidance.

The group, which said two weeks ago it would close a French plant in response to deteriorating conditions of the auto industry, also posted a 8.9% increase in third-quarter revenue to 6.115 billion euros ($6.78 billion).

Michelin said in a statement that the truck tire markets are now expected to end the year down 4%, versus a previous forecast of a 2% decline.

The group confirmed it expects a segment operating income exceeding the 2018 figure at constant exchange rates and before the estimated 150 million euros contribution from the Fenner and Camso businesses. It also expects a structural free cash flow of more than 1.45 billion euros. ($1 = 0.9013 euros)

Reporting by Gilles Guillaume; Writing by Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Lisa Shumaker