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Bridgestone posts results for first nine months of 2006

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Bridgestone Corp.'s net sales for the first nine months of 2006 totaled $18.3 billion, up from the same period last year. In the Americas, Bridgestone's sales grew 18% to $8.4 billion due to improved brand and product mix and higher selling prices.

However, Bridgestone's overall operating income fell 19% to $1 billion yen due to high raw material prices and other factors.

Meanwhile, Bridgestone's ordinary income fell 29% to $871 million while its net income dropped 69% from previous-year levels to $424 million.

Bridgestone took a loss of $151 million during the first nine months of the year "in connection with the announced closure of two tire plants in the Americas," according to Bridgestone officials.

It also suffered a loss of $245 million "due mainly to a payment made in connection with a settlement agreement between Ford Motor Co. and Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire LLC."

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