Japanese tyre maker Bridgestone Corp has reported strong 2002 financial results on the back of brisk reports and a weak yen. Net profit was up by 161 percent last year.

The company’s delight at the results and the corporate comeback from the Firestone recall debacle in the US was slightly tempered by a cautious outlook for 2003. The company forecasted a drop in sales and profit for 2003 amid rising rubber prices and a weakening dollar.

For 2002, Bridgestone achieved a consolidated net profit of 45.38 billion yen ($383.4 million), or 51.97 yen per share, better than the 40 billion yen forecast by the company in December.

Operating profit jumped 56 percent to 183.86 billion yen with revenue rising 5.3 percent year-on-year to 2.248 trillion yen, as Bridgestone also gained from a weak yean and restructuring of its US operations.