TOKYO (May 8, 2008) — Bridgestone Corp.'s net income fell 18.1 percent in the first quarter ended March 31 reflecting the continual climb of the cost of raw materials and energy.
Sales during the period grew 3.6 percent to $7.96 billion on the strength of business in Asia and Europe. Sales in the Americas were unchanged from the 2007 period at $3.36 billion.
Bridgestone said a defining trend in the business environment was the persistent upward movement in the cost of raw materials, combined with rising energy costs.
Bridgestone's operating income edged up 1.7 percent to $523 million while net income slipped to $228.5 million.
Operating income in the Americas slid 30 percent to $76.8 million on higher materials costs, Bridgestone said.
The company's tire segment reported a 9.1-percent gain in operating earnings to $442.1 million as sales grew 4.4 percent to $6.5 billion.
In North America, Bridgestone experienced “brisk” consumer replacement sector sales, which were offset by significant declines in original equipment sales. Truck and bus tire volume was down because of lower OE sales, Bridgestone said.
Bridgestone did not comment on prospects for the rest of 2008.