KOBE, Japan (March 6)—Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd., citing unexpectedly effective cost-cutting efforts last year, reported a 10.9-percent increase in pretax fiscal 1999 profits. The company, which sold majority ownership of its tire activities in North America and Europe to Goodyear last year, said it expects comparable group pretax profits to rise 73 percent in 2000 as its cost-cutting efforts continue. Sumitomo used most of the $927 million it received from Goodyear in the deal to cut its long-term debt by nearly a third. Sumitomo´s sales fell 22.1 percent, to $4.48 billion, reflecting the loss of sales by the North American and European units for the final four months of the year. Pretax income hit $158.3 million.
Sumitomo profits increase in 1999
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