NEW ORLEANS (April 29, 2002)—Bridgestone Corp. expects an after-tax net profit of $520 million in 2002, according to an executive with the Tokyo-based tire maker.
Bridgestone/Firestone commercial tire dealers at the company's Bizcon 6 meeting in New Orleans heard that assessment April 24 from Hiroshi Kanai, Bridgestone Corp.'s chief financial officer.
Mr. Kanai, reporting on the financial health of the company, said Bridgestone's stock prices have surged 274 percent in the seven months since Sept. 11 to 1,999¥ from 800¥. This dramatic increase came despite a fall in stock prices immediately after the terrorist attacks in the U.S. and despite a 27 percent drop in operating profit in 2001.
“We have reason to believe we will be the strongest tire and rubber company again,” Mr. Kanai predicted.
John Lampe, Bridgestone/Firestone chairman, noted that BFS is ahead of initial targets for profitability in 2001. He reiterated to dealers Bridgestone's announcement in March that it expects BFS's sales in the Americas to hit $7.7 billion—putting the subsidiary back in the black.