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Bridgestone posts $10.8 million in net income

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Bridgestone Corp. posted net income of 1 billion yen on net sales of 2.6 trillion yen for its fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2009. That compares to income of 10.4 billion yen on sales of 3.2 trillion yen for fiscal 2008.

Based on the exchange rate on Dec. 31, 2009, Bridgestone recorded net income of $10.8 million on net sales of $28.1 billion last year.

Operating income was down 42.4%, from 131.5 billion yen in 2008 to 75.7 billion yen last year.

"In fiscal 2009, the company's operating environment remained challenging," says Bridgestone. "The economy in Japan continued to face a severe business climate, with weakened consumer spending and declines in private sector capital investment, which counteracted signs of recovery among some exports.

"Although the economic recession in the United States and Europe caused by the vicious downward spiral of the global economy continued, some sectors showed signs of stabilization. Economic stimulus measures implemented by some governments can be recognized as one of the drivers of this stabilization."

"In Asia, China's business climate recovered, and although conditions remained challenging, the business climate in other regions began to show slight signs of recovery."

Global tire sales, which accounted for 83% of Bridgestone's net sales, were down 18.1% to 2.1 trillion yen.

The major decline in passenger, light truck and truck tire unit sales in North America was the result of a significant fall in demand, according to the company. "However, there was a significant increase from fiscal 2008 in unit sales of such strategic products as runflat tires and UHP tires in the replacement sector."

In the Americas, net sales totaled 1.1 trillion yen, down 20% from 2008. Operating income, however, was up 59.2%; Bridgestone credited the increase to "curbed expenses and a favorable performance by tire retail operations."

Bridgestone projects net income of 45 billion yen on net sales of 2.8 trillion yen for fiscal 2010.

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