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Bridgestone Reports a 58% Jump in Net Income; BFNAT Posts Profit

(Akron/Tire Review) Bridgestone Corp., the parent company of Bridgestone Americas Holding (BAH), announced that its worldwide net income for fiscal year 2005 increased 58%, to $1.53 billion, on sales of $22.8 billion.

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It was an 11% increase over the prior year, said Bridgestone. Operating income rose 8% to $1.81 billion.

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In the Americas, 2005 net sales increased by more than $1 billion, totaling more than $10.15 billion for the year, an 11% increase over 2004. Net sales set a record for the company. Profit was $428 million, an increase of $244 million over 2004.

In addition, Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire (BFNAT) achieved its goal of a profit before tax in 2005, said John Vispo, vice president of finance at BAH. The 2005 results reflect BFNAT’s first profit since the company was formed in 2001, he said.

Strong performance by BAH subsidiaries – especially by its retail, diversified products, and Latin American businesses – as well as strong truck and bus tire sales and increasing tire sales in the replacement market contributed to the results, the company said.

BAH forecasts continued growth in 2006, with sales totaling approximately $11 billion and net income projected to be about $150 million.

“Improving the capabilities and flexibility of tire plants, increasing operating efficiencies and targeting profitable sales volume growth will continue to be the company’s focus in 2006,” said the tiremaker in a release.

The company also expects all of its business units – including BFNAT – to achieve a profit before tax in 2006.

Bridgestone Corp. projects 2006 sales of $26.36 billion, operating income of $1.79 billion and net income of $900 million.

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