TOKYO (May 12)—Better-than-expected overseas sales and a weakening of the yen have prompted Bridgestone Corp. to raise its first-half earnings projection.
For the six months ending June 30, Bridgestone expects an operating profit of around $774 million—a third higher than it predicted just three months ago—and sales of $10.7 billion, in-line with its earlier forecast.
The upgraded forecast accompanied Bridgestone's first-quarter results announcement, in which the group posted operating earnings of $446 million on sales of $5.29 billion.
Bridgestone's tire business posted first-quarter operating income of $365 million on sales of $4.22 billion. Operating profitability was hit by "the surging cost of raw materials," though sales strengthened on rising overseas demand, new product launches and vigorous marketing, the firm noted. Bridgestone's sales in the Americas were $2.17 billion, as strong replacement market sales of passenger and light truck tires offset a sales decline in original equipment.