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Yokohama records record income, sales for fiscal 2006

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Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. posted net income of 21.4 billion yen on net sales of 451.9 billion yen for its fiscal year 2006, which ended March 31. Both were company records.

(Based on the March 31, 2006, exchange rate, Yokohama's income was $182.1 million on sales of $3.8 billion.)

That compares to income of 11.3 billion yen on sales of 419.8 billion yen for the previous fiscal year.

The company also recorded a 4.7% increase in operating income, to 21.9 billion yen.

Operating profitability benefited from "growth in unit sales of tires, progress in reducing costs, price increases and the weakening of the yen relative to the dollar," according to Yokohama.

The 89.4% increase in net income included a 4.3 billion yen extraordinary gain in connection with changes in the parent company's pension plan. It also included a tax benefit in connection with an earlier write-down of equity in a United States subsidiary.

Operating income declined 0.4% in Yokohama's Tire Group, to 18.1 billion yen, despite a 9.1% increase in sales to 335.7 billion yen. The decline reflected higher raw material costs.

Tires sales increased in Japan, led by strong growth in snow tires during an especially snowy winter. They increased overseas, too, led by growth in North America.

Yokohama projects the following for fiscal 2007:

* Operating income will decline 4.3%, to 21 billion yen, because of rising raw material costs.

* Net sales will increase 7.3%, to 485 billion yen.

* Net income will decline 51%, to 10.5 billion yen.

Management has proposed a year-end dividend of 6 yen.

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