TOKYO (May 11, 2009)—Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd. posted a $106.7 million loss for the year ended March 31 as sales fell 8.1 percent to $3.27 billion.
Toyo's operating result also was in the red to the tune of $29.5 million, based mostly on the collapse of economic conditions worldwide in the firm's fourth quarter, which shrunk sales by nearly 31 percent and resulted in a quarterly operating loss of more than $35 million.
Toyo blamed higher raw material costs, reduced operating efficiencies and exchange rate impacts for its losses. The firm forecast a return to the black for fiscal 2009 — albeit only barely above break-even at 0.6 percent of sales — based on an anticipated economic pickup in the second half.
Toyo's tire division reported an operating loss of $13.9 million on 4.1-percent lower sales of $2.41 billion. The loss in the fourth quarter alone was nearly twice the annual loss as sales plunged 23.3 percent.
Most of Toyo's losses came from its domestic operation, as both North American and other non-Japanese operations reported operating income for the year.
North American operations' operating income was $20.2 million on sales of $980.4 million, declines of 60.2 and 14.2 percent, repectively.
Toyo said tire sales volumes fell 10 percent in North America and should continue to lag about 10 percent behind last year's pace through the first half before picking up momentum again the second half.
Toyo said sales volumes and net income in Europe were on par with fiscal 2007, partly due to an expansion of sales activities there.