TOKYO (Nov. 13, 2014) — Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. reported record sales and earnings for the nine months ended Sept. 30, with profits improving due to falling raw materials prices and a weakening yen.
Yokohama reported 6.5-percent higher operating income of $306.4 million on 4.4-percent better sales of $4.13 billion, which improved the operating margin slightly to 7.4 percent. Net income jumped 27.4 percent to $239.6 million.
Driving the record sales performance were gains in Yokohama's original equipment tire business in Japan and growth in overseas markets, the company said.
Operating income in the third quarter dropped 23.8 percent to $79.6 million despite 2.2-percent better sales of $1.4 billion. Net income rose 5.8 percent to $66.9 million.
Yokohama's tire operations registered a 12.7-percent improvement in operating income, to $238.6 million for the nine months, while sales increased 4.4 percent to $3.25 billion, yielding a 7.4-percent operating ratio.
The company said sales of OE and replacement tires in Japan increased, the former boosted by domestic growth in unit vehicle production, while the latter registered gains in both unit volume and revenue. The gains reflected a surge in demand in advance of the April hike in Japan's national sales tax; growth in sales of snow tires, stimulated by heavy snowfall; and stepped-up promotion of the firm's “BluEarth” line of fuel-saving tires.
Yokohama reported that sales in North America rose 6.1 percent to $1 billion, but operating income attributable to North America fell 49 percent to $18.3 million.
For the full year, Yokohama is sticking with projections it announced in August: net sales up 5.5 percent over fiscal 2013, with operating and net income rising 11.2 and 20 percent, respectively.