NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Aug. 9)—Bridgestone Americas Holding Inc. expects earnings this year to climb about 50 percent over 2004 on higher sales, improved product mix and increased efficiencies, the company said in its half-year fiscal results.
For the year, Bridgestone Americas expects sales to grow about 11 percent to more than $10 billion while operating and net income of $390 million and $280 million should exceed last year´s results by 47 and 52 percent, respectively.
The firm also expects its North American tire manufacturing and wholesaling operation, Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire L.L.C., to be in the black on an operating basis for the first time since 2001.
Bridgestone Americas reported a 16.4-percent increase in operating income for the first half of fiscal 2005 on 13-percent higher sales of $4.89 billion. The firm generated the positive results despite what it called "unprecedented" increased in raw material costs.
"Despite the obstacles we faced during the first halfùincluding increasing petroleum and other raw material, energy and medical benefit costs, as well as a global shortage of truck, bus and off-the-road tiresùeach of our business units continued to show strength," said John Vispo, Bridgestone Americas vice president, finance and corporate controller.
"With record-breaking sales in our building products business, strong results from our Latin American operations, and continuing growth in consumer acceptance of our Bridgestone, Firestone and now, Fuzion, brands, we believe BSAH is in position to weather the anticipated challenges of the second half," Vispo said.
BFNT reported a slight increase in overall unit sales of passenger and light truck tires in the first half, with robust sales in the replacement segment and a decline in original equipment shipments due to a decline in unit vehicle production.
BFNT´s off-the-road and agricultural tire groups also experienced a strong first half, and unit sales of truck and bus tires were up as well.