Bridgestone expects difficult year, after mixed 2003 results

By Patrick Raleigh, ERJ On-line news editor

Tokyo-Bridgestone Corp. expects “challenging” trading conditions during 2004, due to rising raw material prices and the weakness of the dollar, despite good tyre market prospects in Europe and the US.

The negative factors “could offset the positive contribution from generally strong economic trends,” to leave operating income around 33-percent lower than in 2003, the group said 20 Feb.

For 2003, Bridgestone posted an operating income basically unchanged at $1700 million, on 2003 sales of $21 500 million, 2 percent higher…

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