Tokyo – Bridgestone Corp. results have been significantly impacted by the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, which led to global production suspensions and low demand.
Adjusted operating profit for the three months to end of March fell 39% to just under Yen50 billion (€430 million), on 11% lower sales of Yen752 billion.
Lower volumes had a negative impact of Yen29 billion on profitability while, price mix and raw material effects helped partially offset the costs.
Sales fell in all regions with China and Asia Pacific registering the biggest decline at 25% to Yen90 billion.
Bridgestone did not give a breakdown of tire and non-tire sales data.
In terms of volume, passenger car tire unit sales fell 15% overall, with China showing the biggest drops both in the OE and replacement segments.
Volume sales for truck and bus tires also fell 13% as China registered 31% decreases in each of the OE and replacement segments.
For the full year, Bridgestone said it expected demand for OE and replacement tires to be “substantially lower” than indicated in its February forecasts due to “significant stagnancy” in the global economy.
The Japanese group did not offer an outlook for the full year, citing “unpredictable elements that may cause fluctuations”.
Looking forward, Bridgestone said it expected tire demand to recover with the relaxation of travel restrictions and the restart of economic activities once the Covid-19 outbreak is under control.
“However, at this point, it is difficult to foresee when the virus will be controlled in each region and how quickly their economics will recover,” it added.