Bridgestone announces first quarter results

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Bridgestone Corp. posted net sales of 567.6 billion yen on a net loss of 34.8 billion yen for the first quarter of 2009. Sales dropped 29% from levels achieved during the first quarter of 2008.

In its overall tire segment, Bridgestone achieved 465.6 billion yen on a loss of 7.3 billion yen for 1Q 2009 vs. sales of 651.2 billion yen on operating income of 44.3 billion yen during the same period in 2008.

In the Americas, Bridgestone posted sales of 250.7 billion yen, 26% less than during 1Q 2008. Operating income fell 95% from 1Q 2008 to 1Q 2009.

"The North American tire business saw a major decline in unit sales of tires," say Bridgestone officials. Tire sales also were "substantially down" in Japan and Europe.

Looking ahead, Bridgestone officials believe the company's first half income will fall below previous projections "due mainly to a continuing decrease in unit sales caused by the global recession and an increase in unabsorbed fixed expenses due to reduced production levels.

"The Bridgestone Group's operating environment is currently characterized by a continuing lack of demand for new vehicles and slumping demand for replacement tires, particularly for trucks and buses."

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