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Yokohama Rubber changes forecast for the better

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Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd. has raised its consolidated net sales and earnings projections for its fiscal year ending March 31, 2010.

The company now projects net income of 9.4 billion yen (approximately $101.8 million), compared with a net loss of 5.7 billion yen in the previous fiscal year. The projection is 34.3% higher than the projection announced on Oct. 30, 2009.

Operating income is expected to rise 49.9% year-over-year, to 19.2 billion yen ($208 million). That projection is comparatively 12.9% higher.

Yokohama also estimates its net sales will decline 9.1% to 470.0 billion yen ($5.1 billion), an amount 1.1% higher than originally projected.

"Underlying the improved sales and earnings outlook is the faster-than-expected recovery in tire sales," says the company. "Demand from automakers in Japan has been stronger than expected, and heavy snowfall has generated stronger-than-anticipated demand for winter tires in Japan.

"In addition, tire demand has exceeded forecasts in markets outside Japan, especially in Asian nations. The upturn in sales has raised Yokohama's capacity utilization rate, meanwhile, which has fortified profitability further."

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