By Denna Bowman
Bridgestone is the latest tyres manufacturer to announce positive results for the first half of the year.
The 2010 financial year has so far presented an operating environment “plagued by rising prices for raw materials”, according to the Japanese tyres maker.
However, despite these challenges, Bridgestone saw signs of a slight recovery in its domestic market plus a gradual recovery in the US and accelerated recovery in Asia and particularly in China.
Bridgestone acknowledges that conditions in Europe remain “challenging”, but notes that the business climate there showed signs of bottoming out.
In these operating conditions, Bridgestone states that during the six months to June 30, 2010 it stepped up efforts to improve manufacturing productivity, increase sales of highly competitive products, strengthen supply capacity and effectively utilise its management resources.
During the first half of 2010 Bridgestone’s net sales totalled 1,385.9 billion yen (£10.1 million), a 15 per cent increase on the first half of the 2009 fiscal year.
Operating income amounted to 78.4 billion yen (£573.9 million), compared with an operating loss of 19.9 billion yen a year earlier, and net income was 44.5 billion yen (£325.7) compared with a net loss of 38.3 billion yen in the first half of 2009.
Looking forward to the second half of the year, Bridgestone reports that “although a modest recovery has become apparent, the companies will likely experience challenging conditions because of the continuing economic uncertainties and high prices of raw materials. In addition, the group is expected to face rapid changes in the structures of demand and competition worldwide.”