AKRON (June 22)—Goodyear is showing signs of progress in its turnaround efforts, but challenges remain in the goal to return its North American Tire unit to profitability, Goodyear executives said during a first-quarter conference call.
"We are now getting traction in our North American Tire turnaround plan," said Chairman and CEO Robert Keegan. The main challenges it faces include high debt and unfunded pension obligations, he said.
Segment operating income was up in six of seven business units. But North American Tire still is the only business segment in the red. Though the segment's operating loss improved to a deficit of $31.7 million from a loss of $66.5 million in 2003, the other six businesses are in the black in 2004's first quarter.
NAT's sales increased 10.8 percent to $1.76 billion from $1.59 billion last year, largely due to favorable pricing and product mix. Tire unit volume in the unit was slightly down to 24.7 million units from 24.8 million units.