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Bridgestone/Firestone posts $1.68 billion loss

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Bridgestone/Firestone Americas Holding Inc. (BFAH), the North American subsidiary of Bridgestone Corp., incurred a net after-tax loss of $1.68 billion in 2001 despite $7.4 billion in sales.

Bridgestone says the establishment of one-time reserves "to address the impact of certain activities during 2001" such as the closure of its Decatur, Ill., facility and write-down of BFAH assets contributed to the loss.

Bridgestone/Firestone says it "expects unit tire sales to increase through expanding retail network sales channels, introduction of new products in Bridgestone-brand passenger car tires and new supply contracts with operators of truck and bus fleets."

BFAH is projecting an increase in 2002 net sales to $7.7 billion. Based on the company's actions taken during 2001, including the rationalization of production and the reorganization of its structure -- which "is expected to result in lower borrowing costs" -- BFAH says it expects to "achieve full-year profitability in 2002."

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