Bridgestone

Rebound in Automotive Production Buoys Bridgestone Profit

Japanese tire maker Bridgestone Corp. said its nine-month profit soared 41%, recovering after last year's quake-tsunami disaster.

Japanese tire maker Bridgestone Corp. said its nine-month profit soared 41%, recovering after last year's quake-tsunami disaster.

Bridgestone (IW 1000/113) said net profit rose to 115.8 billion yen ($1.5 billion) despite slightly lower sales of 2.2 trillion yen in the first nine months of the year.

Bridgestone left unchanged its calendar-year forecast for a net profit of 172 billion yen on sales of 3.1 trillion yen.

Bridgestone credited new products, including higher-end offerings, and rebounding auto production in disaster-struck Japan while strong sales in other parts of Asia helped offset declines in Europe.

"Due to recovery in vehicle-production volume, unit sales of tires for new vehicles steadily increased," the company said in a statement.

However, the company warned that the first nine months of the year was "plagued" by high raw material prices and the strength of the yen, which makes Japanese firms' products less competitive overseas.

"The United States was still on the seesaw of recovery and recession, and the financial crisis had a negative impact on the European economy," it said, adding that China and India also showed "signs of a slowdown."

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

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