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Bridgestone's tire sales jump 14% in Americas

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Bridgestone Corp.’s first quarter report for 2015 showed a 3.5% increase in net sales, while net income was down a slight 0.3% compared to the same period in 2014.

For the period ended March 31, 2015, Bridgestone recorded 893.6 billion yen in net sales, up from 863.6 billion yen the previous year. Net income in the first quarter dipped to 71.5 billion yen compared to 71.9 billion yen in 2014. Based on the exchange rate for the final day of the period, Bridgestone recorded $7.4 billion in net sales and more than $596.5 million in net income for the first quarter. The company’s income-to-sales ratio was 8%.

Global net tire sales were up 3%, from 727 billion yen in 2014 to 751.7 billion yen in 2015. The largest increase was in the Americas, where net sales increased 14% to 450.8 billion yen, up from 395.6 billion yen in the first quarter of 2014. That increase helped buffer losses in Japan (8%) and Europe (7%.) Bridgestone said unit sales of passenger, light truck, truck and bus tires dropped in Japan, and the decrease was due to the “last-minute demand associated with the consumption tax rate increase in the previous year.

“In the Americas, the unit sales of tires for passenger cars and light trucks in North America increased firmly and the unit sales of tires for trucks and buses increased steadily compared to the first quarter of 2014.”

Bridgestone used similar language to describe its tire sales in other parts of the world. In Europe passenger and LT tire sales increased “steadily” while truck and bus tire sales increased “strongly.” In Asia Pacific, passenger and LT tire sales increased “firmly,” while truck and bus tire sales increased “substantially.” In China passenger and LT tire sales rose “substantially,” while truck and bus tire sales “decreased substantially.”

The company said sales of off-the-road radial tires for construction and mining remained unchanged from the first quarter of 2014.

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