TOKYO-Spurred by increased demand for tires in North America and South America, Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. achieved a near five-fold increase in net earnings in 1994 on an 11-percent jump in sales, according to the U.S.-based company's Japanese parent, Bridgestone Corp. BFS' results were part of a trend of strong sales increases overseas that helped the Tokyo-based tire maker offset a weaker performance in Japan.
Expressed in yen, Bridgestone's consolidated (total corporate) sales dipped less than 1 percent from 1993 to 1994, but in dollars, sales climbed 11.7 percent to $16.0 billion (1.6 trillion yen), due to differences in the year-end exchange rates.
The company reported a 12.3-percent increase in consolidated net earnings to $318 million (31.9 billion yen).
In North America, BFS' net earnings soared 383.3 percent from 1993 levels to $29 million. Sales swelled to $5.67 billion, from $5.11 billion in 1993, reflecting strong tire demand as well as sales growth and improved profitability in the company's non-tire operations, Bridgestone said.
Bridgestone/Firestone Europe S.A. doubled its net earnings to $31 million on a near-9-percent increase in sales (expressed in dollars) to $1.41 billion.
Bridgestone predicted 1995 total corporate sales will grow 2.8 percent to 1.64 trillion yen ($16.4 billion) with net earnings of 45 billion yen ($450 million). BFS' sales are expected to climb 7.5 percent to $6.1 billion, pushing net earnings up more than 72 percent to $50 million.