TOKYO — Bridgestone Corp. has seen both first quarter sales and profit increase year-on-year as global tire demand recovers globally.
The Japanese group reported a 79% rise in adjusted operating profit at $75 million, on 7% higher sales of $6.9 billion during the first three months of the year.
Adjusted operating profit margin recovered to 10.9%, Bridgestone announced May 17.
Sales of passenger car and light truck tires rose both in replacement and OE segments, with revenue up 8% at $3.5 billion. Segment adjusted operating income jumped 159% to $505 million.
While PC/LT replacement sales was impacted by strong competition in North America, Bridgestone said OE sales increased in all regions despite the effects of semiconductor shortages. Bridgestone it would need to "keep a close eye" on the impact of the shortages in the second quarter and beyond.
The truck and bus tire unit recovered significantly during the three-month period, supported by strong construction and transportation demand.
The unit reported a 50% increase in adjusted operating profit to $190 million, on 8% higher sales of $1.6 billion.
Replacement tire sales were "remarkably strong" as they recovered to the level above 2019, mainly in the U.S. and Europe, Bridgestone said.
In the specialties segment, which includes off-road, aircraft, farm and two-wheeler tires, Bridgestone saw a 2% increase in sales to $796 million. Adjusted operating profit was up 15% at $156 million.
The tire maker said the market has seen a recovery in demand in the mining segment but noted that it is "still weak."
Overall, Bridgestone reported a 14% increase in volumes, while price/mix helped improve operating profit by another 14%.