KOBE, Japan (March 2) — Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd., led by its tire business, reported solid gains in earnings and sales last year.
Operating income grew 9.7 percent last year to $453.5 million while sales increased 9 percent to $4.7 billion. Net income jumped 33.8 percent to $232.9 million.
Sumitomo did not comment on the results or issue any forecasts for 2006.
Sumitomo´s tire segment reported a 20.7-percent gain in operating income to $360.8 million on 11.6-percent better sales of $3.62 billion, raising the earnings/sales ratio nearly a full percentage point to 10 percent.
Sales in North America grew 22.5 percent during the year to $526.1 million. Sumitomo sells tires in North America through Treadways Corp.´s Sumitomo Tires division and through Falken Tire Corp.