Bridgestone sales, profit up – ¥57 dividend per share announced

The latest annual results from Bridgestone Corporation show a rise in sales, operating income and net income, although the latter was pared back by fines linked to antitrust cases and the cost of product recalls during the year, including the 1.2 million tyre recall announced in Japan in November 2013.

For the 2013 financial year, Bridgestone has reported net sales of ¥3,568.1 billion (£20.9 billion), a 17.4 per cent increase on 2012 sales. Operating income was ¥438.1 billion (£2.6 billion), 53.2 per cent higher than the prior year figure, and operating income margin rose from 9.4 per cent in 2012 to 12.3 per cent last year. Net income increased 17.7 per cent year-on-year to ¥202.1 billion (£1.2 billion) in 2013. Net income was affected by US antitrust rulings to the tune of ¥44.7 billion (£262.2 million) and was also impacted by the ¥22.5 billion (£132.0 million) costs associated with product recalls and ¥8.6 billion (£50.4 million) for plant restructuring costs in Japan.

Net sales within the company’s tyre business segment amounted to ¥3,036.9 billion (£17.8 billion) and were 19 per cent higher than in 2012. Bridgestone says original equipment passenger car and light commercial vehicle tyre sales within Europe were three per cent lower in 2013 than a year earlier, while truck and bus tyre sales within the region increased seven per cent year-on-year. In the replacement market, European sales of passenger car and light commercial vehicle tyres were one per cent down on 2012 figures, while truck and bus tyre sales were again seven per cent higher. Consolidated net sales for Europe (for Bridgestone’s tyre and diversified product businesses combined) was ¥423.3 billion (£2.5 billion), a 21 per cent increase on the prior year, and operating income for the region was ¥2.0 billion (£11.7 million), up 11 per cent but much lower than the ¥3.5 billion operating income forecast in the company’s 2013 projections on 9 August 2013. Dividend per share was ¥57 (£0.33), made up of a year-end cash dividend of ¥30 per share and an interim cash dividend of ¥27 per share. The 2013 dividend is ¥25 per share higher than the previous dividend.

For this year, Bridgestone estimates slightly higher tyre demand in Europe. While it anticipates demand for original equipment passenger car and light commercial vehicle tyres will remain flat, it estimates a two per cent year-on-year rise in the truck and bus tyre segment, while demand in each of the two replacement market segments should rise one per cent. The company’s consolidated projections for the 2014 fiscal year anticipate net sales of ¥3,800.0 billion (£22.3 billion), six per cent higher than in 2013, with sales within the tyre segment rising seven per cent to ¥3,250.0 billion (£19.1 billion). Operating income is expected to rise five per cent to ¥460.0 billion (£2.7 billion) while the operating margin will reduce slightly to 12.1 per cent. The projections foresee tyre segment operating income rising five per cent to ¥419.0 billion (£2.5 billion). The company anticipates a ¥80 (£0.47) dividend per share, ¥23 higher than for 2013.



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