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Yokohama Rubber records record sales of 551.4 billion yen for fiscal 2008

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Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. recorded net income of 21.1 billion yen on record net sales of 551.4 billion yen for its fiscal year ended March 31, 2008. That compares to income of 16.4 billion yen on sales of 497.4 billion yen during its 2007 fiscal year.

Based on the currency exchange rate on March 31, 2008, Yokohama posted net income of $212 million on sales of $5.5 billion for fiscal 2008. It's income-to-sales ratio was 3.8%.

Underlying the 10.9% increase in net sales were sales gains in Yokohama's Tire Group (to 419.8 billion yen) and Multiple Business (diversified products) Group. The double-digit sales growth more than offset rising raw material and logistics costs.

Yokohama's operating income increased 57.2%, from 21.1 billion yen to 33.1 billion yen, with help from its North American operations. Operating profitability also benefited from the weakening of the yen during the fiscal year, according to the company.

Operating income climbed 77.6% in Yokohama's Tire Group, to 26 billion yen.

"Management at Yokohama expects the worsening business environment to affect profitability adversely in the fiscal year to March 31, 2009," says the company in an official statement. "Prices for raw materials appear likely to continue rising, and the recent appreciation of the yen will also diminish earnings."

The company projects the following for fiscal 2009 compared to its recently completed fiscal 2008:

* net income, down 38.3%;

* net sales, up 2.5% (to 565 billion yen);

* operating income, down 21.5%.

Yokohama has proposed a fiscal year-end dividend of 7 yen. Together with the interim dividend of 6 yen, that would raise the annual dividend to 13 yen.

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