TOKYO — Bridgestone Corp.'s operating income fell 3.9 percent in fiscal 2018 on 0.2-percent higher sales, but the company is forecasting slightly higher earnings and sales for fiscal 2019, based on a strong second half performance.
Bridgestone attributed the fiscal 2018 earnings decline to higher administrative costs, offset to an extent by improvements in the price/mix, volumes, etc.
The operating income fell to $3.66 billion on sales of $33.2 billion, lowering the operating ratio a half-point to 11 percent. Net income was up 1.2 percent to $2.65 billion.
Tire Division operating income rose 1.8 percent to $3.58 billion on 0.7-percent higher sales of $27.7 billion in sales, improving the operating ratio slightly to 12.8 percent.
Operating income for the Americas business unit fell 5.2 percent to $1.62 billion on 1-percent lower sales of $16 billion, lowering the operating ratio a half-point to 10.1 percent.
Replacement sales of truck/bus tires in the Americas "increased strongly" in 2018 versus 2017, Bridgestone said, while unit sales passenger/light truck tires were unchanged year to year.
The company is forecasting more of the same for fiscal 2019 — consumer replacement tire sales flat versus 2018 and replacement truck/bus tire sales up 11 to 15 percent. OE car/light truck tire sales likely will fall a few percentage points while OE commercial tire sales should be on par with 2018.
Bridgestone said it expects revenue and earnings growth from increased sales of higher rim diameter (18 inch and larger) passenger tires and from large and ultra-large OTR tires.