TOKYO — Bridgestone Corp. reported double-digit gains in fiscal 2022 earnings and sales as the company's efforts to improve its price/mix component more than offset the negative impacts of rising materials and freight costs.
Despite the gains, Bridgestone management issued a cautious forecast for fiscal 2023, citing factors related to unstable international political conditions, global economic uncertainties and a fluctuating raw materials pricing scenario.
Adjusted operating income for the year jumped 22.4% to $3,675.6 million on 26.6% higher sales of $31,303.1 million, yielding a slightly lower operating ratio of 11.7%.
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Bridgestone credited a number of measures for its ability to increase earnings amid the challenges of 2022, including the implementation of "strategic price management" and "premium" business strategy in each of its regional operating units, along with taking advantage of its flexible supply management and a favorable currency exchange environment.
Net earnings fell 23.8% to $958.8 million.
Looking at the company's results from a product perspective, Bridgestone noted:
- The consumer tire (passenger and light truck tires and related retail activities) business generated a 28.6% gain in revenue to $17 billion and 11% higher operating income of $2.1 billion;
- The truck/bus tire and retreading business reported 27.1% higher revenue of $7.88 billion, with 20.3% better operating income of $806 million; and
- The specialties tire business (farm, OTR, two-wheeler, aircraft, etc.) business generated 39% higher revenue of $4.16 billion and 64% better earnings of $973 million.
Following a series of divestitures and restructuring measures undertaken the past couple of years, Bridgestone's revenue is now 93% tire related. The remaining diversified products business segment reported a 2% sales drop to $2.26 billion and an operating loss of $191 million.
The Americas business unit outperformed Bridgestone's other operating units, generating 36.7% higher revenue of $15.1 billion with 31.8% better operating profit of $1.91 billion. The revenue growth came despite low unit sales improvements of just 1% to 2% both the consumer and commercial tire sectors in North America, Bridgestone's figures show.
For fiscal 2023, Bridgestone is forecasting a modest 1% growth in revenue for the Americas unit despite higher unit growth projections.