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Goodyear reports first quarter net loss

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Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. has announced a net loss of $46.7 million for the first quarter of 2001.

First quarter global sales reached the $3.4 billion mark, compared to $3.7 billion for the same period last year.

First quarter operating income was $105.3 million, an $84.3 million drop from the year 2000.

"The continued decline in orders for tires and engineered products by auto and truck manufacturers in North America had a substantial impact on our results," says Goodyear Chairman and CEO Sam Gibara.

However, Goodyear-brand sales grew more than 4% during the first quarter, Goodyear officials say. And Goodyear-brand shipments increased by 7.5% in the commercial truck tire market.

The Akron, Ohio-based tiremaker's first quarter 2001 tire volume totaled 52.7 million units worldwide, down 2.1 million units from last year due to weak original equipment shipments in North America.

Price increases enacted earlier this year are providing some much-needed relief from high raw material and energy costs, according to company officials. "Raw material costs, however, continue upward and increased an estimated 3% in the first quarter."

Goodyear expects to save $155 million throughout the rest of the year by cutting more than 7,800 jobs and implementing other parts of its "rationalization program."

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