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Bridgestone earns $1.2 billion in fiscal 2010

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Bridgestone Corp. posted net income of 98.9 billion yen on net sales of more than 2.8 trillion yen for its fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2010. That compares to income of 1 billion yen on sales of 2.6 trillion yen for fiscal 2009.

Based on the exchange rate on Dec. 31, 2010, Bridgestone recorded net income of $1.2 billion on net sales of more than $35.2 billion last year.

Operating income was up 120%, from 75.7 billion yen in 2009 to 166.4 billion yen last year.

Tire sales, which accounted for 83.1% of total sales, were up 10.5%, from 2.1 trillion yen to nearly 2.4 trillion yen.

The company says its fiscal 2010 results were "plagued" by rising raw material costs and the appreciating Japanese yen.

"Despite these challenges, the domestic economy showed signs of slight recovery. Due in part to the effects of government economic stimulus measures, the United States is gradually recovering, and the business climate in Europe showed signs of slight recovery. In Asia, the rate of recovery continued to accelerate throughout all regions, particularly in China.

"Under these operating conditions, the (Bridgestone group of companies) continued working to achieve the goal of becoming the world's undisputed number one tire and rubber company both in name and reality," says Bridgestone Corp. "Stepping up their efforts on a global basis, the companies focused on increasing sales of highly competitive products, strengthening supply capacity, improving manufacturing productivity, enhancing technology and effectively utilizing their management resources.

"Moreover, within an operating environment that is evolving at an unprecedented speed, including the changing structures for demand and competition, the companies have been striving to rapidly implement a range of initiatives to enhance their ability in ways such as responding quickly to market trends; increasing sales of strategic products; constructing and enhancing a business model that will extend beyond the mere sale of products; and developing eco-friendly products and businesses."

In the Americas, net sales totaled 1.2 trillion yen, up 8% from 2009. Operating income was up 40.4%, to 48.3 billon yen.

Bridgestone projects net income of 82 billion yen on net sales of nearly 3.2 trillion yen for fiscal 2011.

"In 2011, although a moderate recovery has become apparent, the companies will likely experience challenging conditions because of the continuing economic uncertainties and the rising prices of raw materials and materials," says Bridgestone. "In addition, the group is expected to face rapid changes in the structures of demand and competition worldwide.

"Despite such a challenging business environment, management predicts that unit sales of tires in Japan will increase over the previous year."

Bridgestone adds that it also anticipates a year-over-year increase in tire unit sales in both North America and Europe in 2011.

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