CHICAGO-Goodyear will probably implement another price increase this year to stave off rising material costs, but the company's earnings should continue to improve, according to CEO Stanley Gault. Goodyear last hiked tire prices, by 3 percent, March 1.
``I anticipate we'll need to come back later this year with another one similar in size. And that may not be enough, but I think that's all we can get,'' Mr. Gault said in an interview with Reuters during the recent National Association of Manufacturers conference in Chicago.
Goodyear was one of a number of tire makers, including General Tire, Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. and Michelin North America to announce price increases for March or April.
Big O's net earnings plummet 43% in '93
ENGLEWOOD, Colo.-Big O Tires Inc. boosted sales slightly, but its earnings took a nosedive during 1993.
The Englewood-based franchiser's net income plummeted 42.7 percent to $1.6 million in 1993, compared with $2.78 million in 1992, due in part to non-recurring charges totaling $794,000. Sales, however, climbed 2.6 percent to $123 million for the year.
Big O President and CEO Steven P. Cloward said ``margins were affected by the competitive nature of the industry.''
During the fourth quarter, the company reported a 2.5-percent dip in sales to $28.8 million, while earnings increased 14.1 percent to $608,000, compared with the year-earlier period.
Goodyear debt ratio continues to fall
AKRON-Goodyear, which reported greater 1993 earnings than all ``major global tire makers combined,'' plans to continue reducing its debt ratio to below 35 percent in 1994, according to its 1993 annual report.
In 1993, the company reduced its debt to $1.4 billion from $1.9 billion in 1992 and $3.6 billion three years ago. Currently, Goodyear's debt-to-debt-plus-equity ratio is about 38 percent.
Debt reduction in 1993 resulted, in part, from improved operating performance and divestment of non-core businesses, the company said.
As a result, Goodyear said its long- and short-term debt ratings have been upgraded to investment grade by major debt-rating agencies.
Brad Ragen Inc. sets revenue record
CHARLOTTE, N.C.-The largest producer of retreaded tires for off-highway vehicles, Brad Ragan Inc., reported record revenues and improved earnings for 1993.
The Charlotte-based firm's revenues increased 6.7 percent to $242.7 million from $227.5 million in 1992. Net income in 1993 soared to $2.81 million from just $28,000 the previous year.
``Diverse teams throughout the company worked to improve processes and practices to minimize cost, maximize asset utilization and to focus on ever-improving customer service levels,'' said President and CEO W.P. Brophey.
During the fourth quarter, Brad Ragan reported a 4.6-percent increase in revenues to $60.6 million, compared with the 1992 period, while net income climbed to $110,000 from a $916,000 loss the previous year.
60,000-mile warranty on Vogue Z-rated tire
SKOKIE, Ill.-Vogue Tyre & Rubber Co. is celebrating its 80th anniversary with the introduction of the industry's first Z-rated tire to carry a 60,000-mile warranty.
The all-season Twin Tread Tyre delivers ``a smooth, quiet ride, responsive handling...improved overall wet traction, significantly shorter stopping distance, exceptional wet cornering and outstanding hydroplaning properties,'' the company said.
Metro 25 cooperative adds N.D. distributor
NOVI, Mich.-Northwest Tire Inc. in Bowman, N.D., which distributes to more than 300 dealers throughout North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Montana, joined the Metro 25 Tire Centers Inc. cooperative in January.
``Through the cooperative, I will be able to offer dealers in my region a program which provides them with the clout of a large entity and financial returns, said Northwest Tire President Tony Vetter.
Metro 25 dealers and distributors were given the option to invest in the company and become part-owners Jan. 1.
URW begins talks with 3 companies
AKRON-Master contract talks between Goodyear and the United Rubber Workers union began March 11 in Cincinnati. Talks between Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. and Uniroyal Goodrich Tire Co., a Michelin North America subsidiary, are scheduled to begin March 21.
The current three-year contracts cover 23,000 workers and expire at midnight April 23.