TOKYO—Bridgestone Corp. has seen both first quarter sales and profit increase year-on-year as global tire demand recovers globally.
The Japanese group reported a 79 percent rise in adjusted operating profit at $75 million, on 7 percent higher sales of $6.9 billion during the first three months of the year.
Adjusted operating profit margin recovered to 10.9 percent, Bridgestone said May 17.
Sales of passenger car and light truck tires rose in both the replacement and OE segments, with revenue up 8 percent at $3.5 billion. Segment adjusted operating income jumped 159 percent to $505 million.
While PC/LT replacement sales were impacted by strong competition in North America, Bridgestone said OE sales increased in all regions despite the effects of semiconductor shortages. Bridgestone said it needs to "keep a close eye" on the impact of the shortages in the second quarter and beyond.
The truck and bus tire unit recovered significantly during the three-month period, supported by strong construction and transportation demand.
The unit reported a 50 percent increase in adjusted operating profit to $190 million, on 8 percent higher sales of $1.6 billion.
Replacement tire sales were "remarkably strong" as they recovered to the level above 2019, mainly in the U.S. and Europe, Bridgestone said.
In the specialties segment, which includes off-road, aircraft, farm and two-wheeler tires, Bridgestone saw a 2 percent increase in sales to $796 million. Adjusted operating profit was up 15 percent at $156 million.
The tire maker said the market has seen a recovery in demand in the mining segment but noted that it is "still weak."
Overall, Bridgestone reported a 14 percent increase in volumes, while price/mix helped improve operating profit by another 14 percent.