Bridgestone Corp. increased net sales and net income in the first half of 2017 versus the year-ago period. Net sales were up 6% and net income rose 7%.

The company said higher costs for raw materials lowered its operating income in the half.

For the half-year period ended June 30, 2017, Bridgestone reported net sales of 1.7 trillion yen and net income of 131.8 billion yen. That compares to 1.6 trillion yen and 123.3 billion yen in the year-ago period.

Based on the exchange rate on June 30, Bridgestone’s sales totaled $15.5 billion and net income was $1.2 billion. The company’s income-to-sales ratio was 7.6%.

The company’s operating income was 202.3 billion yen, down 7.3% versus the first half of 2016.

Global tire sales were 1.4 trillion yen in the first half of 2017 (up 6.4%). In Japan, net tire sales were 534.5 billion yen in the first half of 2017 (up 2.8%). In the Americas, net tire sales were 863.3 billion yen (up 5%).

Net tire sales in Europe, Russia, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) were 270.9 billion yen (up 11%). In the China and Asia-Pacific geographic segment, net tire sales were 310.5 billion yen (down 0.4%).

Although net sales in the tires segment in the first half were up 6% versus the year-ago period, operating income in the tires segment fell 7% to 185.1 billion yen. Bridgestone said the decrease was due to higher raw material costs.

The unit sales of tires for passenger cars and light trucks in North America decreased but unit sales of tires for trucks and buses increased strongly compared to the first half of 2016.  

For the second half of 2017, Bridgestone projects North American passenger vehicle replacement tire sales to be flat and truck and bus replacement tire sales to increase between 6% and 10% compared to the year-ago period.

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