TOKYO -- Bridgestone Corp., Japan's largest tire-maker, is expected to post a group net profit 4.6 percent above its initial estimates for calendar 2002, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun said on Tuesday.
The business daily said consolidated net profit for the year was expected to be 68 billion yen ($567.7 million), up from a forecast of 65 billion yen, thanks to effective cost cutting at its embattled U.S. tire unit, Firestone.
Bridgestone officials were not available for comment.
After two years of damage to its business caused by the fallout from deadly accidents involving Firestone tires, analysts see Bridgestone exceeding profit forecasts in the current year, the newspaper said.
Revenues are expected to rise 20 billion yen above the company's initial estimate of 2.2 trillion yen, while consolidated pre-tax profit is seen at around 50 billion yen, 10 billion more than initial estimates, the business daily said.
Despite the upbeat forecast, Bridgestone still faces stiff competition, especially in the European market, the paper said.
Shares of Bridgestone closed down 0.3 percent at 1,645 yen on Monday, but the share has more than doubled in value since September.