Bridgestone: double-digit results growth

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TOKYO (Feb. 18, 2014) — Bridgestone Corp. recorded double-digit gains in sales and earnings last year on the strength of recovering economic activity in Japan and North America and continued expansion in Asia.

For the year, Bridgestone's operating and net income jumped 52.5 and 17.7 percent, respectively, to $4.48 billion and $2.07 billion. Sales rose 17.4 percent to $36.5 billion. As result, the operating ratio rose nearly three percentage points to 12.3 percent.

Net income did not keep pace with operating earnings because of nearly $800 million in extraordinary losses related to fines tied to a U.S. antitrust case, to a product recall and plant restructuring costs in Japan, Bridgestone said.

The Tokyo-based company is projecting more modest growth for the current fiscal year, anticipating 5- and 6- percent growth, respectively, in operating income and sales. Net income, on the other hand, is expected to improve more than 40 percent without the drag of extraordinary losses.

Bridgestone's tire business reported 53.4-percent higher operating income of $4.1 billion on 18.8-percent better sales of $31.1 billion, for an operating ratio of 13.2 percent.

Bridgestone reported unit sales of passenger and light truck tires in North America increased "steadily" over 2012, while sales of truck and bus tires rose "strongly." Specific sales figures for North America were not disclosed.

Otherwise, tire division sales recovered in Japan and grew steadily thoughout Asia/Pacific, but sales in Europe fell from 2012.

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