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Bridgestone Complains of Import Squeeze

(Akron/Tire Review) Bridgestone Australia Ltd. officials are concerned that so-called “cheap” imported tires are cutting into the profitability of “locally-made tires.”

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At the same time, reports said, the company reported a 10% increase in net profit for 2005 vs. 2004, even though its net sales and pre-tax profits were off.

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Bridgestone Australia officials said the drop in pre-tax profit was primarily caused by rising raw material costs, which the company was only able to partially offset with price increases. "Sales of locally-made tires remain under intense pressure from imports and the ability to lift prices to cover increasing costs has been constrained," the company said.

"Sales of Bridgestone branded products remained strong; however, they are under increasing pressure from the wide range of cheap imports becoming available in the Australian market,” the company said. “The ability to lift prices to cover increasing costs has been constrained."

Bridgestone Australia’s 2005 revenue dropped 3% to $520.36 million AU.

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