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Sales, income up at Toyo in 2010

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Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd. released its consolidated business results for April 1-Dec. 31, 2010, showing an increase in net sales of 4%, or 225,496 million yen, an increase of 8,750 million yen. Net income was 5,092 million yen, an increase 4,671 million yen.

A breakdown of results by business units reveals that in the North American replacement market, unit sales did not change due to high tariffs for Chinese-made tires, the company says. However, net sales exceeded the previous nine months of fiscal year 2009 in the U.S.

In the Japanese OE market, Toyo’s unit tire sales remained healthy as a result of government-sponsored car purchase incentives and an increased number of cars produced for export.

In the Japanese replacement market, unit sales went up that Toyo says is due to growing tire demand and the nation’s economic recovery. A heavy winter with a large volume of snow in Japan also led to increased sales of studless winter tires, but net income stayed the same as the previous nine months of fiscal year 2009 due to decreased sales of Toyo’s best-selling passenger car tire.

Around the rest of the globe, Toyo says unit sales and net sales significantly exceeded the same period for 2009 due to the recovery in tire demand. In the Southeast Asia and Latin American markets, both unit sales and net sales significantly exceeded the same period for fiscal year 2009. As a result, unit sales and net sales of replacement tires for overseas markets exceeded the previous nine months of 2009.

In other Toyo news, the company will increase passenger car and light truck tire prices 7% effective April 1 in the Japanese domestic replacement market for both summer and winter tires. The company cites price increases of natural rubber and petrochemical raw materials such as synthetic rubber and carbon black have also contributed to the move. Toyo adds that it has minimized raw material prices through product mix and cost rationalization. However, its internal measures have not covered the raw material price increases completely.

The company announced in December 2010, that effective March 1, 2011, Toyo would raise commercial tire prices in Japan by an average of 7%, applying to replacement truck, bus, commercial light truck and "other" commercial tires -- both summer and winter.

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