TOKYO—Bridgestone Corp. will strive to "consistently deliver" a 6 percent return on assets and 10 percent operating profit over the coming five years, company executives said Friday in the firm's Mid-Term Management Plan covering the period 2014-18.
The company did not disclose many other specific operating targets beyond these two financial goals. Executives did, though, re-emphasize Bridgestone's "Dan-Totsu" goals of becoming a "truly global company."
These goals are identical to ones the company proffered a year ago, when management also called for 5 percent annual sales growth.
The firm's goals compare favorably with targets set forth recently by Michelin, Goodyear and Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd.
Pirelli & C. S.p.A. is scheduled to outline its near-term forecast on Nov. 5.
Bridgestone pointed out that it achieved a 6 percent return on assets in 2012 after averaging only about half that for the previous six years, and is on target to record an operating profit ratio this year of about 11 percent, the highest level in at least seven years.
In presenting the plan, Bridgestone identified three priorities:
1) Cultivating global corporate culture;
2) Developing human resources capable of global management; and
3) Upgrading the global management structure.
Under cultivating global corporate culture, Bridgestone said two targets are to clarify the global brand strategy—which it called "insufficient and inconsistent"—and promote innovation, both in technology and business management.
On the technology side, Bridgestone noted ongoing research into alternative, sustainable raw materials, development of 100-percent sustainable materials-based products and cutting-edge products like non-pneumatic tires.
Under developing human resources, Bridgestone said it intends to restructure its tire activities into four regional strategic business units from six, integrating the Middle East and Africa activities into the European SBU and put the China and Asia/Pacific activities into one Asia strategic business units.
It also said it will designate English as its official company language, promote "diverse talent" and involve local/regional staff more in global management roles.
The company intends to become more globally oriented, creating new departments covering global innovation and global marketing strategy.
Bridgestone Americas recently switched advertising agencies for the Bridgestone brand.
Interested parties can view the company's investor slide presentation at Bridgestone's website.