TOKYO—Bridgestone Corp. suffered drops in operating income and sales in the quarter ended March 31 as an “upsurge of uncertainty” continued in the global economy.
Operating income fell 6.7 percent to $964.4 million during the period, while sales dropped 7.6 percent to $7.35 billion, mainly due to a stronger Japanese yen and a drop in volume, the company announced.
Bridgestone cited a drop in the price/mix/volume component combined with foreign exchange losses as enough to offset the benefit of lower raw materials costs in explaining the lower earnings.
The operating result stood steady at 13.1 percent.
For the period under study, Japanese domestic economy continued gradual recovery with an improvement in the employment environment, while overseas economies were gradually recovering but still weak due to unstable political and economic situations.
The Japanese company said that its business also continued implementing management reforms, including measures to realize more effective utilization of resources with appropriate expenses.
The tire business' results mirrored those of the corporation. Operating income was down 8.2 percent, to $893.2 million, and sales were off 9.5 percent, to $6.05 billion. The operating result edged up slightly to 14.7 percent.
Bridgestone reported increased unit sales of consumer and commercial tires in all regions except for commercial tires in the Americas, where OE sales lagged behind the 2015 period. In addition, shipments of large and ultra-large OTR tires fell as mining operations fell back on their inventories to meet their own demand.
The Americas business unit (tire and non-tire businesses combined) reported a 4.6 percent rise in operating income to $407.4 million on 9.2-percent lower sales of $3.64 billion, thus raising the operating ratio nearly 1.5 points to 11.1 percent.
The company did not change its fiscal 2016 first-half projections, issued in February.