AKRON (May 5)—Driven by stronger operating income in all of its tire business segments, Goodyear reported first-quarter net earnings of $68 million, its fourth consecutive profitable quarter, and a dramatic improvement from its first-quarter net loss of $78 million last year.
Goodyear posted 11.6-percent higher sales compared with 2004's first quarter to $4.8 billion, a first-quarter record. The Akron tire maker attributed the sales increase to higher pricing, a more favorable product mix and favorable currency translation of about $126 million.
Chairman and CEO Robert J. Keegan said the North American, Latin American, European Union and Asia/Pacific tire businesses all drove the earnings improvement despite rapidly rising raw material costs.
North American Tire achieved its fourth consecutive quarter of positive operating income to $11 million compared with a first-quarter operating loss of $24 million last year. Sales jumped 10.3 percent to $2.14 billion, thanks to volume increases, favorable pricing and product mix and cost reduction activities. Goodyear noted that North American Tire's raw material costs increased about $64 million during the quarter.
Total segment operating income grew to $292 million, a 61.3-percent increase from the 2004 period.