TOKYO (Nov. 9, 2009)—Bridgestone Corp. posted a net loss of $302.5 million for the first three quarters of 2009 as sales fell 25 percent to $20.6 billion, based on the current exchange rate. Operating income fell 90 percent to $133.1 million.
The company said the Japanese economy continued to face a tough business climate, with lower consumer spending and declines in private sector capital investment.
While the U.S. and Europe continued to be in a recession, some sectors in those areas showed signs of stabilization, mostly because of economic stimulus measures implemented by some of the governments in those regions. The company said China's business climate began recovering gradually and other areas of Asia began to show signs of recovery.
Bridgestone said that—working to become the “world's undisputed No. 1 tire and rubber company both in name and reality”—it was focusing on boosting sales of highly competitive products, strengthening supply capacity, improving manufacturing productivity, enhancing technological superiority, and making the most of its management resources.
Among geographic segments, sales in the Americas fell 24 percent to $9.31 billion, with operating income off 7 percent to $251 million. Sales in Japan decreased 30 percent to $7.62 billion, while the unit posted an operating loss of $310.7 million. European revenue declined 31 percent to $2.91 billion as the unit posted an operating loss of about $150 million.
Tire sales worldwide for the nine months fell 24 percent to about $17 billion. The tire business saw operating earnings decline 83 percent to $160.1 million.
Revenue for diversified products lost 31 percent on the period to $3.72 billion. Operating income was down 90 percent to $132.2 million.
Bridgestone also disclosed it is revising its financial projections for full-year 2009 because of its decision to close two Bridgestone Australia Ltd. tire plants. The company said it anticipates sales to be about 1 percent less than its last projection—in early August—of $28.5 billion for the full year.
It said operating income likely will be 1.6-percent less than expected, at $661 million, while a net loss of $110.2 million is projected, compared with the $66.1 million net profits previously forecast.