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Goodyear loses $20 million in third quarter

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Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. recorded a net loss of $20 million on net sales of $5 billion for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, 2010. That compares to net income of $72 million on sales of $4.4 billion for the same period last year.

The company's segment operating income was $234 million, down $41 million from the third quarter of 2009.

Tire unit volume totaled 47.7 million for the quarter, up 6% from last year, according to the company. Goodyear pointed out that during the third quarter, its Assurance Fuel Max tire line exceeded three million units sold in North America (the tire was introduced in 2009). Fuel Max tires were recently introduced in the Latin America and Asia Pacific markets.

“We are pleased with our continued strong operating results and made significant progress in all of our strategic focus areas during the third quarter,” says Richard J. Kramer, chairman and chief executive officer.  “We are encouraged by the strength and breadth of the industry recovery.

“The bottom line is that as we look to the future we feel good about the direction of the tire industry, and we feel even better about our direction as a company.”

Sales benefited from the following:

* price/mix improvements, which drove revenue per tire, excluding the impact of foreign currency translation, up 8% over 3Q 2009.

* higher sales in other tire-related businesses, primarily third-party chemical sales in North America.

The 2010 third quarter included charges of $56 million for cash premiums and write-offs of deferred financing fees related to the early redemption of debt; $10 million due to rationalizations, asset write-offs and accelerated depreciation; $4 million related to a supply disruption; and $3 million resulting from a strike in South Africa.

For the first three quarters, Goodyear posted a net loss of $39 million on net sales of $13.8 billion. The company’s year-to-date segment operating income is $693 million.

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