Bridgestone First Half Results Confirm Four Pence Dividend
Bridgestone Corporation has announced its first half results showing increased sales figures almost across the board.
In the first six months, Bridgestone saw tyre sales rise by 4 per cent to £4.5 billion, compared with the same period last year. The company reports that this increase was mainly due to the strength of demand in markets outside Japan. Operating income in the tyre segment increased 34 per cent, to a total of £370 million. The increase came in spite of rising raw material prices.
Tyre exports declined, but Japanese domestic sales of original equipment and replacement tyres increased.
In the Americas, sales increased two per cent over the same period from the previous year and operating income climbed 593 per cent to £78 million. Sales of passenger car, light truck and truck and bus tyres all increased.
In Europe, sales increased 10 per cent over the same period of the previous year, to £786 million. Operating income in the continent increased by nearly a third to £43 million. The company also posted sales increases in passenger car tyres and in the replacement market.
At their meeting on 10 August, 2004, the board of directors declared interim dividends of just under four pence, adding that payments were to begin on 1 September, 2004.
The management expects the business environment to remain challenging throughout the remainder of the financial year. Having said that, the management also expects that the company’s overall tyre unit to increase in 2004. They predict that Japanese unit exports will decline, partly because of production limitations.
In the Americas, management predicts demand for tyres in 2004 to remain strong.
Furthermore they look forward to increased unit tyre sales in the Americas. The management also expects its full year dividends to total eight pence a share.