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Controlling costs remains crucial, says Goodyear

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"We see the issues ahead of us as manageable," Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. Chairman and CEO Bob Keegan told investors earlier today during a conference call that discussed Goodyear's fourth quarter and full year 2005 results.

Goodyear reduced its debt by more than $250 million last year and made more than $500 million in contributions to its pension plan.

In addition, asset sales during 2005 brought in $257 million, which will enable the company to further invest in research, marketing and other initiatives.

Keegan also mentioned that Goodyear plans to reduce high-cost tire manufacturing up to $250 million. Meanwhile, "we'll leverage our global sourcing capacity." (Goodyear's purchasing office in China, which opened last year, is already producing results, according to Goodyear officials.)

This morning, Goodyear announced it achieved record sales during the fourth quarter of 2005 and the entire year, as well. Its net income for 2005 was its highest since 1998.

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