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Bandag Sales Up for 2005, But Earnings Drop

(Akron/Tire Review) Buoyed by a strong fourth quarter, Bandag Inc. posted higher sales but reduced earnings for 2005.

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Sales for the year hit $914.6 million, up from 2004’s sales of $864.3 million, while consolidated net earnings for 2005 were $49.5 million, a drop of nearly $20 million from 2004’s $66.9 million.

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Net sales for fourth quarter 2005 of $252.3 million, up 7% from $235.2 million posted in the same period of 2004. Still, net earnings for the quarter were off some $18 million, with profits reaching $12.1 million for the period vs. $30.8 million in 2004’s last quarter.

“Multiple price increases in the North American, European and International business units could not keep pace with unprecedented volatility in raw materials costs, which exerted pressure on margins,” said Martin Carver, Bandag’s chairman and CEO.

Since the beginning of 2004, Bandag said, its North American operations took raw material cost increases of some 33% and 27%, respectively, increases that the company as able to partially offset through price increases. Bandag, though, expects further raw material cost pressure in 2006.

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"Unprecedented increases in energy prices and rapid globalization of the tire industry are clear evidence that the business norms we have managed to are quickly changing,” Carver said. “TDS and Speedco act as bellwethers for Bandag, providing useful insight to the direction and trends in the trucking and off-the-road markets for commercial tires. Both indicate that the trucking economy remains vibrant, giving us confidence in the continued strength of Bandag, Speedco and TDS to take advantage of opportunities in the marketplace.”

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