Bridgestone slashes its profit estimates

BRIDGESTONE has been forced to cut its profit estimate by 80% this year because of the effects of the problems with the Firestone brand in the United States of America. Bridgestone says it is going to take a loss of $485m to cover the cost of the recall of 6.5m tires and the damages claims which are expected. There are claims that as many as 160 people died as a result of Firestone tire failures. This means that the expected profit of $600m has been cut to just $116m. Bridgestone's shares are down nearly 60% from their value in February.

The Japanese firm says that it does not expect the Firestone problems to have any effect on the Formula 1 program where the company will come under attack this year from Michelin.

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