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Bridgestone Q1 earnings off 3.1% on slightly higher sales

TOKYO — Bridgestone Corp. reported a 3.1-percent decline in operating income for the quarter ended March 31 on 0.9-percent higher sales.

Bridgestone cited higher administrative and raw-materials costs for the drop in operating income, saying they combined to offset gains in price/mix/volume. The company referenced higher costs related to mergers and acquisitions and research and development in explaining the earnings drop.

Operating income fell to $922.4 million on sales of $7.94 billion, dropping the operating ratio slightly to 11.6 percent. Net income was up 7 percent to $585.4 million.

Regarding revenue, Bridgestone said “robust growth” in large and ultra-large OTR tires offset weak sales in the consumer area. Truck tire sales were stable.

Geographically, Bridgestone reported sales gains in Europe/Middle East/Africa (6.2 percent), Japan (4.8 percent) and Asia-Pacific (1.3 percent), but said sales dropped 1.8 percent in the Americas, to $3.77 billion.

Bridgestone did not provide more detailed commentary on its results, other than to say it expects January-June sales to exceed those of 2017, but for the operating income to fall short.

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