Bridgestone Profits Fall 30%

However sales were robust in Asia, especially China

Due to soaring raw material costs, Bridgestone said on August 8 it suffered a 30% drop in interim net profit and slashed its full year forecast. Net profit for the six months to June fell to 37.2 billion yen ($339 million) from 52.9 billion yen a year earlier.

Operating profit dropped 18% to 83.7 billion yen as revenue edged up 1.6% to 1.64 trillion yen, lifted by brisk sales in Asia.

Tire sales remained steady as robust demand in Asia, notably China, offset a slump in the U.S. market, where consumer sentiment was dampened by an economic slowdown, the company said. But the bottomline profit plunged "due to a big impact of a surge in raw material costs," it said.

Bridgestone downgraded its forecast for the full year, predicting net profit will roughly halve compared with 2007 to 66 billion yen. Operating profit is seen declining 38% to 155 billion yen on revenue of 3.42 trillion yen. The firm had earlier forecast net profit of 90 billion yen and operating earnings of 195 billion yen, on revenue of 3.56 trillion yen.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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