TOKYO—Bridgestone Corp. recorded gains of 56.3 and 67 percent in operating and net income, respectively, in the quarter that ended March 31, fueled by 8.6 percent better sales.
Operating income in the first quarter jumped to $1.09 billion on sales of $8.05 billion, while net earnings rose to $670.7 million.
Bridgestone did not enumerate reasons for the above-average gains in earnings.
Bridgestone's tire business performed on par with the overall corporate results—operating income up 56 percent to $996 million on higher sales of $6.79 billion, an 8 percent gain.
Bridgestone said unit sales of consumer and commercial vehicle tires were up in Japan, the Americas and Europe, but consumer sales in Asia/Pacific were flat with the 2013 first quarter and commercial sales were down. Global sales of off-the-road tires fell “substantially” from 2013 as demand in this sector waned.
Bridgestone's sales in the Americas (tire and not-tire businesses combined) were up 8 percent to $3.6 billion, while operating profit of $314 million was unchanged from a year go.
The company noted that industry-wide shipments were up in North America: 2 percent for consumer replacement; 3 percent of consumer original equipment; 2 percent for commercial replacement; and 19 percent for commercial OE.
For the year, Bridgestone said it expects the North America consumer and commercial tire replacement markets to grow by 6 and 8 percent, respectively.