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Yokohama targets 5% annual sales growth

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Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. is initiating three major strategies for its core Tire Group: It will emphasize high performance tires, launch "world-level" new truck and bus tires, and expand its export businesses.

The strategies are part of Yokohama's new philosophy to "supply customers worldwide with excellent products and services based on our proprietary technologies."

The company's "1-5-8 Financial Goals" for all its businesses call for the achievement of at least one completed turnover of total assets, an annual average sales growth of 4.8%, and an operating profit to net sales ratio of 7.6% in 2005.

Overall, the company plans to achieve net sales of 460 billion yen in three years -- a 15% increase over 2002. Yokohama also has a goal earning 35 billion yen in operating profit on a consolidated basis in 2005, a 52.2% increase compared to last year.

Yokohama Rubber plans to upgrade its research and development capabilities as part of its growth strategy.

In Yokohama's recently released first-half 2003 financial results ended Sept. 30, consolidated net sales declined 1.3% to 182 billion yen. Although sales of the Tire Group reached last year's level of 128 billion yen, the Multiple Business Group "could not avoid sales decline under the influence of reduced plant and equipment investment in Japan," according to the company.

Operating income also declined 5% to 5.5 billion yen. However, net income of 1.9 billion yen compared favorably to the net loss of 547 million yen recorded in the first half of Yokohama's fiscal 2002 year ended Sept. 28, 2001.

Yokohama predicts its net sales for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2003, will reach 400 billion yen, a 0.1% increase over the preceding year. Net income is expected to reach 10 billion yen, a 35.8% increase.

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