TOKYO (May 19)—Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd. is counting on increased sales and cost-containment measures this year to help it rebuild profits eroded away last year by increased raw material costs and operating expenses.
For the year ended March 31, Toyo suffered a 43.3-percent drop in operating earnings to $67.8 million. Sales edged up slightly to $2.26 billion, dropping the earnings/sales ratio two percentage points to 3 percent. Net earnings were up 51 percent to $48.8 million.
For fiscal 2005, Toyo is forecasting a 21-percent rebound in earnings and nearly 2-percent growth in sales despite continued increases in raw materials costs.
Toyo reported a 45.5-percent drop in tire division operating income to $60.4 million on 2.3-percent higher sales of $1.44 billion. Toyo is predicting 4.7-percent sales growth this year along with a nearly 4-percent improvement in operating income.