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YRC touts ‘robust’ 1st half results

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TOKYO (Aug. 8, 2014) — Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. reported record sales and earnings for the first half of fiscal 2014, with operating and net income jumping 23.8 and 38.4 percent, respectively, on 5.3-percent higher sales.

Yokohama attributed the “robust fiscal performance” to business gains in tires, industrial products and other products, along with a downward trend in raw material prices, and from the weakening of the yen vs. other global currencies.

Operating income jumped to $175.2 million on sales of $2.77 billion, for an operating ratio of 8.3 percent, up from 7 percent a year ago. Net income rose to $175.2 million.

Yokohama’s tire operations reported an operating income increase of 33.4 percent to $180.7 million on 5.7-percent higher sales of $2.16 billion, yielding an operating ratio of 8.3 percent.

Yokohama posted “vigorous growth” in its Japanese OE business, driven by a surge in demand in advance of the April 1 hike in Japan’s national sales tax, increased shipments of tires for fuel-saving vehicle models and additional OE fitments.

The company’s business in replacement tires in Japan also expanded vigorously, including growth in studless winter tires and in summer tires. Heavy snowfalls stimulated demand for Yokohama’s studless winter tires, the firm said.

In overseas business, recovery in North America, in Europe and in China more than offset continuing weak demand in Russia and in some other markets.

Sales in North America rose 7.8 percent to $666.4 million, but operating income slumped 53 percent to $12.1 million, Yokohama said.

For the full year, Yokohama abides by its February projection of an 11-percent gain in operating income, but it revised downward its sales forecast slightly. Net income also should finish the year ahead of the February projection, it said.

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