NEW YORK (CNNfn) - The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., the world's largest tire maker, reported on Wednesday a better-than-expected first-quarter profit, boosted by a strong performance at its tire operations in the Americas.|
The Akron, Ohio-based tire maker posted first-quarter profit of $63.6 million, or 40 cents a diluted share; 5 cents above the consensus of analysts polled by First Call/Thomson Financial. The figures compare with a profit reported by Goodyear (GT: Research, Estimates) for the year-ago quarter of $25.5 million, or 16 cents a share.
The company's global first-quarter sales grew to $3.5 billion, up from $3 billion in 1999. Tire unit sales were 54.8 million, up 9.1 million units, or 20 percent, from the 1999 first quarter.
The growth reflects the addition of the company's Dunlop operations in North America and Europe, which contributed 8.9 million units, as well as strong performances in Asia and Latin America, the company said. The company's Dunlop unit contributed almost $577 million in sales.
"First-quarter earnings reflect the benefits of 20 percent unit volume growth, Dunlop joint venture synergies and global manufacturing rationalization as shown in the turnaround performance of the company's North America, Latin America and engineered products business units," said Samir Gibara, Goodyear's chairman and chief executive.