TOKYO-Sluggish demand for tires in Japan resulted in a net loss for Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. in the quarter ended March 31. The Tokyo tire maker reported consolidated sales of $897 million (80.1 billion yen at the March 31 exchange rate of 89.35 yen per dollar). The company reported a net loss of $6.73 million due to what the firm said were weak operating results at some of its domestic Japanese tire sales companies.
Yokohama said it had anticipated the depressed earnings because the January through March period ``generally corresponds to poor demand for tires.''
In March, the firm changed its fiscal year-end from Dec. 31 to March 31, hence the report of results for the three months between the old and new fiscal years.
Tire sales of $607.6 million accounted for 67.7 percent of the company's total net sales. Yokohama said original equipment sales rose, supported by increased production by automakers, as did replacement sales.
The tire maker said that, despite the higher value of the yen, improved marketing efforts and increased demand resulted in a rise in its export sales.
For this fiscal year, April 1995 to March 1996, Yokohama said it anticipates net sales to rise 2.8 percent and net income to grow 16 percent, compared with 1994.