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Bridgestone's Sales Fall 3% in 2019

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Net sales for Bridgestone Corp. in fiscal 2019 were 3,525.6 billion yen, down 3% versus the previous year. Operating profit was 326 billion yen, a decrease of 19% compared to 2018.

The company said 2019’s operating profit declined year-over-year due to volume decreases and higher conversion costs, in addition to a negative currency effect. Price and product mix improved despite weaker demand in the global market, mainly in OE. Bridgestone noted it maintained sales growth in larger diameter tires (18-inch and bigger).

The company’s fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2019. Bridgestone said its “operating environment in Japan is being clouded by the uncertainty of the global economy and other matters, despite the domestic economic conditions maintaining a course of gradual recovery. For our overseas operations, while instability persists in both the political and economic fronts, economic conditions continue to recover gradually overall. The U.S. economy continued on a recovery path, and the European economy showed signs of weak recovery. In Asia, the Chinese economy has continued to slow gradually.”

For its tire segment, the company said: “In Japan, unit sales of tires for passenger cars and light trucks and unit sales of tires for trucks and buses remained unchanged from fiscal 2018. In the Americas, unit sales of tires for passenger cars and light trucks in North America and unit sales of tires for trucks and buses decreased compared to fiscal 2018. In Europe, unit sales of tires for passenger cars and light trucks and unit sales of tires for trucks and buses decreased compared to fiscal 2018. In China, Asia and Oceania, unit sales of tires for passenger cars and light trucks and unit sales of tires for trucks and buses decreased compared to fiscal 2018. In the specialty tire business, unit sales of large and ultra-large radial tires for construction and mining vehicles remained unchanged from fiscal 2018.”

Net sales in the tires segment during fiscal 2019 were 2,953.1 billion yen, a year-on-year decrease of 3%; operating profit was 325.8 billion yen, a year-on-year decrease of 17%.

In its Americas tires segment, net sales were 1,704.6 billion yen in 2019, down 3% from 1,758.2 billion yen in 2018.

For 2020, Bridgestone expects weak OE demand to continue, but anticipates increased operating profit through continued price management, mix improvement and replacement tire sales growth.

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