Bridgestone slashes profit forecast amid sales slump

Japanese tyre maker Bridgestone slashed its full-year net profit forecast by 81.8 percent amid a surging yen and the slump affecting the car industry. French rival Michelin announced it would reduce its activities to meet slowing demand.


AFP - Japanese tyre-maker Bridgestone on Monday slashed its full-year net profit forecast by 81.8 percent as the global financial crisis batters the auto industry.

Bridgestone, which vies with France's Michelin to be the world's top tyremaker, now forecasts net profit of 12 billion yen (133 million dollars) for the year to December, down from its earlier estimate of 66 billion yen.

"We expect sales and operating profit will be lower than previously anticipated as sales declined mainly in North America and Europe amid the confusion ... triggered by the US financial crisis," the company said in a statement.

Bridgestone said it was also hit by a recent surge in the yen against other major currencies.

Operating profit is now projected at 118 billion yen, down from 155 billion yen forecast earlier. Sales are forecast at 3.25 trillion yen, compared with its earlier projection of 3.42 trillion yen.

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