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Yokohama posts worldwide increase in tire sales

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Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. posted net income of 10.3 billion yen on net sales of 401.7 billion yen for its 2004 fiscal year ended March 31. That compares to net income of 10.1 billion yen on sales of 400.4 billion yen for its 2003 fiscal year.

Based on the exchange rate on March 31, Yokohama recorded net income of $99 million on sales of $3.85 billion.

In North America, sales dropped 5% year to year, from 70.6 billion yen to 67.1 billion yen. Operating income also was down, from 2.5 billion yen to 1.1 billion yen.

In Japan, sales totaled 319.1 billion yen, up 1%. Operating income of almost 19 billion yen was down 1.7%.

Yokohama's Tire Group recorded net sales of 288.6 billion yen ($2.76 billion), or 72% of the company's total sales. Tire sales were up one-half percent compared to the previous fiscal year.

The Multiple Business Group, which manufactures high-pressure hoses, sealing materials, golf products, aircraft components and antiseismic rubber bearings for bridges, posted decreases in both sales (from 113.5 billion yen to 113.1 billion yen) and operating income.

Yokohama says rising raw material prices and the high yen will affect its operations in fiscal 2005. The company's management forecasts the following:

* Net sales will increase 2.1% to 410 billion yen.

* Ordinary income will decrease 7.3%, to 16 billion yen.

* Net income will decline 12.9%, to nine billion yen.

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