Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd. more than doubled its operating and net income for the half-year ended Sept. 30 as sales, buoyed by double-digit growth in North America, increased 6.7 percent.
The improvements prompted Toyo management to boost the firm's sales and earnings forecasts for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2005.
For the half-year, Toyo reported a 120.8-percent increase in operating income to $37.7 million and a 151.3-percent jump in net income to $19.6 million, crediting expanded sales, lower-than-expected raw materials cost hikes and a more stable yen/dollar exchange rate for the improvements.
Sales rose to $1.16 billion, with overseas sales growing nearly 20 percent, led by nearly 25-percent growth in North America to $303.5 million. Toyo did not indicate the profit or loss situation in North America, where its operating units were $17.1 million in the red collectively last year.
Among Toyo's operating units, tires reported a 147.9-percent jump in operating income, to $37.3 million, on 9.9-percent better sales of $738 million. As a result, the unit's operating result improved nearly three percentage points to 5.1 percent.
Regarding the full-year outlook, Toyo noted that it has increased production capacity in Japan by 3 million units and that its Cheng Shin-Toyo Tire joint venture inaugurated production of radial truck/bus tires in June at its Xiamen, China, plant and completed an expansion project for radial car tires at its Kunshan, China, plant.
In addition, Toyo said its North American business is up because of increased sales of ultra-high performance and sport-utility vehicle tires, including an expanded range of sizes of its Toyo and Nitto brands.
For fiscal 2005, Toyo is increasing its sales projection 3.4 percent beyond the forecast it made in March.