ERJ staff report (DS)
Tokyo -- Bridgestone has reported lower profits on marginally higher sales for the first six months of 2008. The company said net sales for the six months were Yen 1.640 million million (Euro 9840 million). This was up by two percent from Yen 1.616 million million a year ago. Operating income fell by 18 percent to Yen 83 600 million (Euro 501 million) while net income fell by 30 percent to Yen 37 200 million (Euro 223 million). Bridgestone blamed the decline partially on higher raw material costs.
Results in the company's two main operating divisions -- tyres and diversified products -- reflected this trend. The tyre unit recorded sales of Yen 1.328 million million, up by 2 percent, while the operating income fell by 19 percent to Yen 60 900 million. In diversified products sales were stable at Yen 321 800 million, while operating income fell by 15 percent to Yen 22 700 million.
Profitability fell by 41 percent in Japan, wiping Yen 28 200 million off the earnings, despite unit sales being similar to those from a year ago. The compoany said rising raw materials costs were to blame.
Bridgestone said European unit sales of passenger car and light truck tyres remained on par with the previous first half, while unit sales of strategic products, led by runflat tyres and UHP tyres, grew considerably over the previous first half. Unit sales of truck and bus tyres increased steadily over the previous first half. In the specialty tyres business, unit sales of large and ultra-large off-the-road radial tyres greatly exceeded the previous first half resulting from continued strong demand.