TOKYO—Lower raw materials costs and a better product mix led to double-digit growth in fiscal 2012 net and operating profits for Bridgestone Corp., and the firm expects more of the same for fiscal 2013..
Bridgestone's net profits climbed 66.7 percent to $2.17 billion, or a ratio of 5.6. percent. Operating income grew 49.3 percent to $3.62 billion on 0.5-percent higher sales of $38.4 billion, for an operating margin of 9.4 percent.
Bridgestone's outlay for raw materials, especially natural rubber, dropped sufficiently to account for nearly 100 percent of the firm's operating income improvement, the firm's figures show.
The tire division reported a 40-percent increase in operating income to $3.3 billion on 1-percent higher sales of $32.4 billion, for a ratio of 10.1 percent.
For fiscal 2013, Bridgestone is predicting gains of 34 and 37 percent for operating and net income and 17 percent for sales, based on solid sales gain expectations for markets in emerging countries as well as rebounding replacement market growth in Europe and North America.