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Yokohama posts record sales and earnings

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Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. posted net income of 32.6 billion yen on net sales of 559.7 billion yen for its fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2012. Operating income totaled 49.7 billion yen.

(The company shifted to calendar-year fiscal accounting as of 2012 from its previous April-to-March accounting. That resulted in a one-time-only nine-month fiscal accounting period for 2011, making a year-to-year comparison to 2012 arbitrary.)

Based on the average exchange rate for 2012, Yokohama recorded net income of $408 million on net sales of $7 billion for fiscal 2012. Its income-to-sales ratio was 5.8%.

Yokohama says its record fiscal year sales and earnings performance reflected the following:

* strong growth in sales of tires to automakers in Japan;

* a business recovery in industrial products;

* success in securing market acceptance for price increases;

* a decline in raw material costs;

* continuing progress in reducing costs; and

* the weakening of the yen toward the end of the year.

Financial results for Yokohama's tire operations, which account for 79.4% of the company's total sales, were: net sales of 444.6 billion yen (nearly $5.6 billion) and operating income of 43.4 billion yen ($544 million).

Tire sales to auto makers in Japan increased strongly, while sales were solid in Japan's replacement market, "led by vigor in snow tires."

Management announced it intends to increase the annual dividend two yen above the amount announced in Nov. 2012 to 20 yen -- an interim dividend of 8 yen and a year-end dividend of 12 yen.

Yokohama's fiscal projections for 2013 call for another year of record sales and earnings. The company projects that net income will reach 36 billion yen on operating income of 59 billion yen and net sales of 630 billion yen.

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