TOKYO (May 11, 2015) — Bridgestone Corp.'s operating and net income for the quarter ended March 31 were essentially unchanged from the 2014 period, while sales fell 3.5 percent.
Sales rose to $7.5 billion, while operating and net income were both off 0.5 percent to $975.3 million and $600.6 million, respectively. Bridgestone said earnings suffered from a worsened price/mix/volume component, while it benefited from foreign exchange gains and lower spending on raw materials.
The tire division reported 3.4-percent gains in sales and operating income for the quarter to $6.31 billion and $917.8 million, respectively, keeping the operating ratio at 14.6 percent.
The Tokyo-based tire maker said unit sales for passenger, light truck and medium truck tires rose in the Americas, Europe and Asia/Pacific, while sales in Japan fell substantially as Japanese consumers bought heavily in the fourth quarter due to a consumption tax increase that took effect this year.
Sales in the Americas jumped 14 percent to $3.78 billion, while operating income jumped 22.7 percent to $367.4 million, yielding an operating ratio of 9.7 percent. Tonnage output in the Americas was unchanged, at 150,000 metric tons of rubber, Bridgestone's figures show.
In North America, Bridgestone reported the car and light truck tire replacement market fell 7 percent, while the replacement truck and bus tire market was unchanged from a year ago.
Bridgestone's replacement car/light truck tire sales, by contrast, were off 3 percent while replacement truck/bus tire sales were off 1 percent. OE car/light truck and truck/bus tire sales jumped 12 and 14 percent, respectively.