UPDATE 1-Pirelli sees 2021 sales, profitability rising as outlook brightens

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MILAN, March 10 (Reuters) - Italian tyre-maker Pirelli said on Wednesday it expects to increase sales and profitability this year as an improving outlook for the global car tyre market signalled a recovery from the slump caused by the coronavirus crisis.

The manufacturer of tyres for Formula One and high-end carmakers such as BMW and Audi said it expects to report revenues of between 4.7-4.8 billion euros ($5.6-5.7 billion) this year, up from around 4.3 billion in 2020.

The margin on adjusted earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) - a measure of its profitability - is seen rising to between 14-15% from 11.6% achieved last year, the company said

“In 2021, the global tyre market is expected to register ‘high-single-digit’ growth,” Pirelli said in a statement.

The company also said that the car market for tyres of 18 inches and above, used in popular sport utility vehicles and the company’s main area of growth, was expected to grow at double digit rates and return to 2019 levels this year.

The company said it would provide more details on the 2021 outlook at an investor day planned for March 31.

Pirelli said its adjusted EBIT fell 45% to 501.2 million euros last year, in line with a company-provided analyst consensus of 499 million euros.

$1 = 0.8403 euros Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari and Agnieszka Flak. Editing by Jane Merriman