Tokyo – Bridgestone Corp. has revised up its full year sales and operating profit forecast due to strong first half results and the softening of Covid-19 impact on global businesses.
The Japanese tire and rubber goods manufacturer now expects full year operating profit to come in at Yen360 billion, up 38% from its previous forecast of Yen260 billion announced in February.
Sales are also anticipated to reach Yen3,320 billion, up 10.3% compared to the group’s previous estimates, Brigestone announced 10 Aug.
The Japanese group said the previous forecast was based on the assumption that the global economy would return to pre-Covid levels of 2019 by 2023 and that global tire demand would remain low.
However, it said, from the second hlaf of 2020, countries around the world made progress in addressing the pandemic and carrying out vacination programmes.
“As a result, global tire demand in the first half of 2021 has shown a dramatic recovery at a pace exceeding the group’s expectations,” said the group.
For the first six months of the year, Bridgestone reported strong performance, driven by higher volumes and sales.
Group revenue was up 24% year-on-year at Yen1,570 billion, while adjusted operating profit rose 370% to Yen176 billion, helped by the group-wide expense and cost restructuring programnme.
Tires contributed to Yen1,350 billion of sales, up more than 24% compared to last year’s Yen1,080 billion, with all segment posting increases of more than 20%.
In particular, Bridgdstone said, demand for truck and bus tires and construction vehicles grew significantly, underpinned by solid construction and transport demand.
Passenger car & light truck tire segment saw adjusted operating profit rise significantly from Yen10 billion to Yen112 billion, on 25% higher sales of Yen790 billion. Here, Bridgestone said demand for replacement tires returned to the pre-pandemic levels of 2019.
The truck & bus tire segment posted a 170% increase in operating profit to Yen41 billion, on 24% higher sales of Yen370 billion.
Specialities, including construction, farm, aircraft and two-wheeler tires, saw operating profit rise 39% to Yen36 billion, on 20% higher sales of Yen191 billion.
The group’s diversified products segment reported a revenue of Yen180 billion and an adjusted operating loss of Yen2.2 billion, mainly impacted by a Yen6.2 billion loss in the chemical and industrial products business.
Airsprings and sports segments reproted operating profits of Yen2.7 billion and Yen1.3 billion respectively.