By Oliver Hall
Goodyear tyres surprised industry analysts by reporting a quarterly profit that exceeded Wall Street forecasts.
The tyres manufacturer was helped by growing sales in the emerging markets, which countered weak demand in North American and Europe.
However Goodyear, the largest US tyres maker, also posted a much lower loss in its North American unit for the final quarter of 2009 than it had warned of in October. This was largely due to stronger-than-expected tyre sales volume and price increases.
The company said global tyre demand was expected to rise overall in 2010, but the recovery would vary “considerably” by region and product.
It also expects the rising cost of raw materials and weak demand for commercial truck tyres to continue through 2010.
Goodyear expects to cut costs by more than £638 million over the next three years after meeting its four-year cost-cutting goals. Goodyear cut 5,700 jobs globally in 2009, exceeding its target of 5,000 job cuts.
The company reported net income of over £68 million, in the quarter, compared with a net loss of £210 million a year earlier. Revenue rose 7.3 percent to £2.8 billion.