Goodyear said third-quarter earnings more than tripled, supported by sales of more expensive tyres and price increases that offset rising costs of raw materials.
US-based Goodyear, which has plants in Birmingham and Wolverhampton, had its best quarter in seven years.
The company expects a yearover-year increase in fourth quarter operating results, but at a slower rate than in the third quarter. Net profit for the largest US tyre maker rose to $142 million from $38 million a year earlier. Sales rose seven per cent to $5.03 billion. Tyre unit sales rose 1.8 per cent to 58.4 million units worldwide.
In its key North America tyre business Goodyear said unit volume was flat at 26.6 million units, but sales rose five per cent to $2.37 billion, supported by price increases and the sale of more expensive tyres. Operating margin rose to 2.4 per cent from 1.2 per cent.
European tyre volume rose 2.5 per cent to 16.2 million units. Sales rose 4.2 per cent to $1.13 billion, also on higher prices and the sale of more expensive tyres, as well as higher consumer replacement and original truck equipment volume.
Goodyear posted a full-year profit for 2004 after losses totalling more than $2 billion over the two prior years. In September, it said it would continue a multiyear restructuring of job cuts, plant closings and sales of noncore businesses.
The company wants to cut costs by up to $1 billion over the next three years, with a focus on its North American operations and by sourcing tyres, raw materials and equipment from Asia.