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Bridgestone's income jumped 29% in 2004

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Bridgestone Corp.'s consolidated net income for fiscal year 2004 totaled $1.1 billion on sales of $23.2 billion. Income rose 29% while sales rose 5% over 2003 levels.

Bridgestone's operating income for the year grew 8% to $1.9 billion.

Bridgestone subsidiary Bridgestone Americas Holding Inc. (BSAH) achieved net sales of $9.1 billion and net income of $183 million during 2004.

BSAH officials credit the gains to replacement passenger and light truck unit sales increases, strong truck and bus tire sales and "very strong growth in sales in the company's diversified products and Latin American businesses."

"While our North American tire business did not post a profit in 2004, our other business segments continued their impressive performances, contributing significantly to Bridgestone Americas' overall profitability," says BSHA Controller John Vispo. (Bridgestone Americas' North American tire business includes its research and development, wholesaling and manufacturing operations; it does not include the company's retail group, which is profitable.)

"This year marks Bridgestone Americas' third consecutive profitable year, a clear sign that our company is well on the road to financial stability."

Full year results "reflect the impressive performance of two BSAH subsidiaries, BFS Retail & Commercial Operations LLC and BFS Diversified Products LLC, and the companies that comprise the Bridgestone Firestone Latin America operating segment, all of which reported improved operating profit over 2003.

"However, the company's core business, Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire LLC, continues to face challenges on its road to profitability."

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