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After nine months, Yokohama is doing fine

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Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. posted net income of 11.3 billion yen on net sales of 390.4 billion yen for the first three quarters of its fiscal year ending March 31, 2011. That compares to income of close to nine billion yen on sales of 344 billion yen for the same period in fiscal 2010.

Based on the exchange rate on Dec. 31, 2010, Yokohama recorded net income of $138.5 million on sales of nearly $4.8 billion for the first three quarters of fiscal 2011.

Operating income also increased, from 17.3 billon yen to 26.3 billion yen, or 52%.

Yokohama posted sales gains in tires and in high-pressure hoses, sealants, and other diversified products. The sales growth more than compensated for the adverse effect on earnings of rising prices for raw materials and the appreciation of the yen. Also contributing to improved profitability were a rise in capacity utilization rates and progress in trimming costs.

Yokohama's tire operations, sales increased 13.7%, to 310.2 billion yen, and operating income rose 37.4%, to 23.2 billion yen. The company attributed the sales growth to gains in Japan and overseas.

Business in Japan benefited from a general upturn in tire demand.

That upturn "reflected a rebound from curtailed purchasing amid economic weakness," says the company. It also reflected "strong demand for winter tires occasioned by heavy snowfall."

Yokohama made the most of the increase in tire demand with successful product launches. Its new-product offerings in Japan centered on fuel-saving summer and winter tires that proved highly popular. The company also achieved sales growth in overseas markets, most notably in the United States and China.

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