Bridgestone Profits up 58 per cent
Bridgestone Corp’s full-year 2005 figures show that the company’s net profit surged 58 per cent last year to 180.7 billion yen (£877 million, 1.283 billion euros). In the 12 months ended 31 December annual sales rose 11 per cent to 2.69 trillion yen (£13.072 billion, 19.123 billion euros). The majority of the corporation’s turnover came from its tyre business, which contributed 2.156 trillion yen (£10.474 billion, 15.311 billion euros) a 12 per cent increase on the 1.931 trillion it generated in 2004.
According to Bridgestone, the company’s increased figures were due mainly to an extraordinary gain of 78.5 billion yen, which came from “the return to the Japanese government of the substantial portion of an employee pension plan covering Bridgestone Corporation and several consolidated Japanese subsidiaries. However this funded an extraordinary loss of 26.5 billion yen, which the company paid Ford in order to settle “all outstanding financial issues associated with the 2000 Firestone voluntary tyre recall.”
Bridgestone Europe generated 366.9 billion yen of sales in 2005, a 13 per cent increase on the previous year. Operating income totalled 19.6 billion, down 11 per cent. The company said the 11 per cent dip was due to the negative impact of increased raw material costs and passenger car and light truck sales actually increased in the OE and replacement sectors. Unit sales of truck and bus tyres are also reported to have increased led by growth in the OE sector.
In North America OE sales declined, while replacement sales increased. This led to a 14 per cent increase in sales (1.157 trillion yen) and a 46 per cent surge in operating income to 38.9 billion yen.