TOKYO (May 9, 2014) — Bridgestone Corp. recorded 56.3- and 67-percent gains in operating and net income in the quarter ended March 31 on 8.6-percent better sales.
Operating income in the first quarter jumped to $1.09 billion on sales of $8.05 billion, while net earnings rose to $670.7 million.
Bridgestone did not enumerate reasons for the above-average gains in earnings.
Bridgestone's tire business performed on par with the overall corporate results — operating income up 56 percent to $996 million on 8-percent higher sales of $6.79 billion.
Bridgestone said unit sales of consumer and commercial vehicle tires were up in Japan, the Americas and Europe, but consumer sales in Asia/Pacific were flat with the 2013 first quarter and commercial sales were down. Global sales of off-the-road tires fell “substantially” from 2013 as demand in this sector waned.
Bridgestone's sales in the Americas (tire and not-tire businesses combined) were up 8 percent to $3.6 billion, while operating profit of $314 million was unchanged from a year go.
The company noted that industrywide shipments were up in North America: 2 percent for consumer replacement; 3 percent of consumer OE; 2 percent for commercial replacement; and 19 percent for commercial OE.
For the full year, Bridgestone said it expects the North America consumer and commercial tire replacement markets to grow by 6 and 8 percent, respectively.