Tokyo-Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd profits were hit by higher raw material and shipping costs last year, and the company is expecting more of the same over the next 12 months at least.
For its next fiscal year, ended 31 March, 2005, Yokohama forecasts a 12.9-percent fall in net income to Yen9000 million (Euro67 million), due, it said, to rising raw materials prices and a strong yen. Net sales are, however, expected to rise 2.1 percent to Yen410 000 million, said a 13 May group statement.
For its fiscal 2004, the higher external costs pushed Yokohama to a 9.1-percent dip in operating earnings to Yen21 073 million. Net sales for the year to 31 March, increased 0.3 percent to Yen401 718 million helped by increased tyre exports to Europe, Asia, and Oceania.
The higher costs impacted most on the group's tyre business, which reported an 11.5-percent drop in earnings to Yen15 280 million, on sales of Yen288 629 million-about level with fiscal 2003. Sales of OE tyres increased while replacement tyre sales were basically unchanged, Yokohama reported.
Yokohama's non-tyre business reported 9.0 percent lower earnings at Yen5759 million on sales 0.3 percent lower at Yen113 089 million. High-pressure hoses, sealing materials and golf equipment sold well, but sales of antiseismic rubber bearings for bridges suffered from lower public-sector investments.
Demand for Yokohama's aircraft components was also sluggish, due mainly to the effects of the war in Iraq and the SARS outbreak, which reduced sales of new aircraft, the group added.