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Bridgestone Corp. discloses first half results

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Bridgestone Corp. suffered a consolidated net loss of $255 million during the first half of 2001.

"The decline in net earnings reflects extraordinary charges of $573 million," say company officials.

Charges include costs associated with subsidiary Bridgestone/Firestone (BFS) Inc.'s voluntary recall that started one year ago, "including a provision for litigation-related expenses," plus the planned closing of BFS' Decatur, Ill., manufacturing plant that is expected to take place before the end of 2001.

However, Bridgestone's tire segment sales during the first six months of the year grew 4% to $6.6 million, reflecting "successful product introductions and expanded marketing channels around the world," according to officials.

But tire segment operating profit fell 51% due to "an upward trend in raw material costs and the cost of production adjustments in North America and Japan for reducing United States inventories."

Bridgestone expects replacement tire sales in the Americas to recover during the second half of 2001 "led by measures for revitalizing the Firestone brand and by sales gains in Bridgestone brand tires."

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