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Yokohama has 'Grand' plans for 2012

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Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. followed up its better-than-expected financial results with a number of major announcements. The company outlined phase three of its Grand Design 100 medium-term management plan; previewed senior management changes; and established a technical center in China.

Grand Design 100

Yokohama entered Phase III of Grand Design 100 in January, the first month of its present fiscal year. Its chief financial targets for the three years of Phase III are to achieve:

* net sales of 1.8 trillion yen,

* operating income of 150 billion yen, and

* operating return on sales of 8.3%.

Yokohama's chief financial targets for the culminating year of Phase III, 2014, are to achieve net sales of 630 billion yen, operating income of 60 billion yen, and operating return on sales of 9.5%.

Yokohama launched Grand Design 100 in April 2006. The plan comprises four three-year phases.

Senior management changes

Yokohama’s board of directors announced a series of senior management changes that will be approved after the general meeting of shareholders on March 29, 2012. Here are the promotions among corporate officers (with the executive’s current position in parentheses):

1. Yuji Goto to director and senior managing corporate officer (director and managing corporate Officer.

2. Fumio Morita to director and managing corporate officer (director and corporate officer).

3. Yasushi Tanaka to managing corporate officer (corporate officer).

Also on March 29, Atao Kishi will be appointed corporate officer, while Misao Hiza will retire as corporate officer. Hiza will remain as chief engineer.[PAGEBREAK]

Yokohama China Technical Center

The new technical center began operation in January as the first base outside of Japan for testing and evaluation of raw materials. It is located inside the premises of the tire plant of Hangzhou Yokohama Tire Co. Ltd. in Zhejiang Province, China. Yokohama has invested 250 million yen (close to $3 million) in the center.

Over the course of this year, Yokohama plans to increase the number of researchers from 14 to 23.

“The establishment of the Chinese base for testing and evaluation… makes it possible to significantly reduce the lead time for the procurement of less expensive raw materials and to help reduce the material cost for the entire company through global deployment of raw materials employed in China.”

Financial results

Yokohama posted net income of 11.6 billion yen on net sales of 465.1 billion yen for its nine-month fiscal year ended Dec  31, 2011 (the company shifted to calendar-year fiscal accounting as of 2012).

Based on the exchange rate on Dec. 31, the company recorded net income of $150 million on net sales of $6 billion, an income-to-sales ratio of 2.5%.

For more information, see “Yokohama tops net income projections by 36.7%.”

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