AKRON-As forecast at its annual shareholders meeting April 15, Goodyear's net income from worldwide operations hit an all-time first-quarter record. It was the company's 20th consecutive quarter-to-previous-year-quarter improvement in net income from operations.
Samir F. Gibara, Goodyear pres-ident and CEO, said the strong showing embodied ``unified efforts to boost productivity and contain costs'' as well as become a more diversified, driving force globally.
The financial report, issued April 24, cited a 13.9-percent increase in net income to $151.8 million from $133.3 million for the comparable 1995 quarter.
First-quarter 1996 sales of $3.25 billion-led by robust performances in Europe and Asia-topped by a whisker the company's 1995 record of $3.24 billion.
Goodyear said its revenues were impacted by lower sales of tires and other automotive products to the original equipment market as U.S. auto makers curtailed production to reduce inventories.
The company's tire business segment saw first-quarter operating income grow 2.3 percent to $252.4 million, as sales rose 1.1 percent to $2.77 billion.
The company said improved revenues and operating income in Europe and Asia more than offset the combined effects of lower unit sales in the North American OE market, intense pricing pressures and a difficult Latin American economy. Tire unit sales worldwide were up 2 percent, despite a 5-percent drop in the U.S.
First-quarter operating income in the U.S. climbed 4.9 percent to $128.5 million, despite a 4.4-percent drop in sales to $1.73 billion.
In Canada, operating income was unchanged at $6.2 million, while sales sank 3.2 percent to $166.6 million.