By Alex Kapadia
The boss of Goodyear tyres has spoken out about how the company’s commitment to tackling the global downturn has seen it start to climb out of the recession.
Robert J Keegan, chairman and chief executive officer of the largest US tyres manufacturer, made the statement after Goodyear announced improved fourth quarter sales and earnings.
He said: “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.
“These gains are a reflection of the success we had in strengthening our business despite a challenging economy and operating environment.
“Tyre demand around the world has begun to recover and we look forward to year-over-year global growth in 2010.
“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 tyre demand, will persist in 2010.
“Goodyear’s strong market position and growing capabilities will, however, enable us to fully capitalise on the attractive market opportunities available to us.”