MILAN, July 27 (Reuters) - Italian diversified group Pirelli reported on Thursday a 6.7 percent rise in its first-half operating profit as sales rose. Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) rose to 216 million euros as sales increased 7.2 percent to 2.4 billion euros,the world's fifth-biggest tyre maker said in a statement of preliminary figures. Pirelli also said its board approved plans to sell 39 percent of its tyre business to a group of banks for 740 million euros.
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