Tokyo – Bridgestone Corp. has seen both first quarter sales and profit increase year-on-year as global tire demand recovers globally.
The Japanese group reported a 79% rise in adjusted operating profit at Yen82 billion (€618 million), on 7% higher sales of Yen757 billion during the first three months of the year.
Adjusted operating profit margin recovered to 10.9%, Bridgestone announced 17 May.
Sales of passenger car and light truck tires rose both in replacement and OE segments, with revenue up 8% at Yen386 billion. Segment adjusted operating income jumped 159% to Yen55.2 billion.
While PC/LT replacement sales was impacted by strong competition in North America, Bridgestone said OE sales increased in all regions despite the effects of semiconductor shortages. The Japanese group said, however, that it would need to “keep a close eye” on the impact of the shortages in the second quarter and beyond.
The truck and bus tire unit recovered significantly during the three-month period, supported by strong construction and transportation demand.
The unit reported a 50% increase in adjusted operating profit to Yen20.8 billion, on 8% higher sales of Yen178 billion.
Here, replacement tire sales were “remarkably strong” as they recovered to the level above 2019, mainly in the US and Europe, Bridgestone noted.
In the specialities segment, which includes off-road, aircraft, farm and two-wheeler tires, Bridgestone saw a 2% increase in sales to Yen87 billion. Adjusted operating profit was up 15% at Yen17 billion.
Here, the tire maker said the market has seen a recovery in demand in the mining segment but noted that it is “still weak”.
Overall, Bridgestone reported a 14% increase in volumes, while price/mix helped improve operating profit by another 14%.