TOKYO (Aug. 9) — Bridgestone Corp. management expects the firm´s fiscal 2007 sales and profits to be higher than previously forecast, due to a weaker yen and improved sales through the first half of the year.
The company raised its full-year net and operating profit forecasts for the second time this year to $1.54 billion and $1.74 billion, which are 28.1- and 12.7-percent increases over 2006, respectively.
For the first six months of 2007, Bridgestone reported a 21.3-percent jump in operating profit to $827.3 million as sales grew 13.4 percent to $13.1 billion. Net earnings surged 61.3 percent to $429 million.
Bridgestone attributed growth in all its geographic areas—including Japan and the U.S.—and its increased global production capacities for the positive results.
In the tire segment, Bridgestone´s operating profits grew 29.5 percent to $608.3 million as sales rose 15.3 percent to $10.6 billion on new product introductions in strategic markets.
Diversified products performed less spectacularly, with sales up 5 percent and operating profits up by 3 percent.
Bridgestone´s sales in the Americas rose 12.5 percent to $6.1 billion despite lower overall unit sales. Operating income fell 6 percent to $152.5 million on the increased costs of raw materials and heavy investment in expansions.