TOKYO (June 25, 2009)—Bridgestone Corp. expects to break even in fiscal 2009 on lower unit sales, a stronger yen and higher fixed expenses related to lower output.
Bridgestone also is projecting a slightly better first half than previously forecast, although the firm still expects operating and net losses of $293 million and $482 million, respectively, for the six-month period.
For the year, Bridgestone anticipates to break even on a net basis as operating income will drop 57.4 percent to $586 million, or 2.1 percent of sales. The drops will result despite the positive effects of reduced expenses and lower raw materials costs, the company said.
Sales are expected to settle at $27.4 billion.
For the six months ending June 30, Bridgestone expects its operating and net losses to be smaller than forecast earlier because of the firm's efforts to reduce expenses and the effect of lower raw materials costs. The new projections are roughly 25 to 30 percent smaller than previously forecast in May.
Bridgestone anticipates its tire production this year to fall 23 percent from 2008, including drops of 45.5 percent in Japan and 22.4 percent in the Americas. The figures published do show Bridgestone anticipates an improved second half.
In North America Bridgestone expects consumer and commercial tire sales to be down more than 10 and 20 percent, respectively, for the year, although again these forecasts reflect improvements in the second half. The most optimistic figure published is for unchanged sales for replacement passenger and light truck tires.