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Goodyear posts profit in 4Q, loss for year

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Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. posted net income of $107 million on net sales of $4.4 billion for the fourth quarted ended Dec. 31, 2009. That compares to a net loss of $330 million on sales of $4.1 billion for the same period in 2008.

The company had 4Q 2009 segment operating income of $249 million compared to a segment operating loss of $159 million in the year-ago quarter.

“Our fourth quarter results were solid, with improved gross margins, segment operating income and net income reflecting lower raw material costs, improved volumes and actions to reduce costs," says Robert Keegan, chairman and CEO.

"These gains are a reflection of the success we had in strengthening our business despite a challenging economy and operating environment.”

For the full-year, Goodyear recorded a net loss of $375 million on net sales of $16.3 billion. That compares to a net loss of $77 million on sales of $19.5 billion in 2008 period.

Sales for 2009 are a reflection of the following:

* the $1.4 billion impact of a 9.5% decline in tire unit volume primarily due to lower industry demand in North America and Europe;

* a $924 million reduction in sales in other tire-related businesses, primarily third-party chemical sales by the North American Tire business unit;

* the negative impact of a lower mix of high-value commercial truck and OTR tires due to ongoing weakness in those product segments; and

* an unfavorable foreign currency translation (which reduced sales by $699 million).

Segment operating income for fiscal 2009 was $372 million, compared to $804 million in 2008.

“Tire demand around the world has begun to recover, and we look forward to year-over-year global growth in 2010," says Keegan. "The degree of recovery, however, varies considerably by geography and product segment.

"We remain confident, but many challenges, including high raw material costs and weak commercial truck tire demand, will persist in 2010."

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