Goodyear rings up profits

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. solid profits up $68 million in the first quarter, compared to a net loss of $78 million in the same period in 2004, due to stronger operating income from across all of the company’s tire businesses

Akron, OH-based Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. racked up solid profits of $68 million in the first quarter, compared to a net loss of $78 million in the same period in 2004, due to stronger operating income from across all of the company’s tire businesses. That performance offset an increase in raw material costs of approximately $119 million compared to the first quarter of 2004. Raw material costs in North America alone jumped $64 million, the company noted.

Sales totaled $4.8 billion in the first quarter of this year, reflecting an 11% increase over $4.3 billion for the same quarter in 2004, as tire volume increased by 200,000 units to 55.9 million units, said Goodyear. That increase came from a 7.9% increase in North American consumer replacement markets, exceeded by a 14.9% volume hike in the commercial replacement sector and OEM business, said Robert Keegan, Goodyear’s chairman & CEO.

He said all five of Goodyear’s tire business units achieved improved segment operating income due to higher selling prices, improved product mix, the positive impact of currency translation and cost reduction actions.

Total tire sales in North America increased 10% to 25.4 million units, generating $2.13 billion in sales in the first quarter compared to $1.93 billion in the same quarter of 2004. This earned the company $11 million compared to a $24 million loss last year, Keegan said.

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