Bridgestone has said it expects its half year operating income, ordinary income and net income to exceed previous financial projections.

The Japanese tyremaker said the improved outlook was as a consequence of increased unit sales and and better fixed costs per unit due to increased production levels.

However, the company also said in a statement on Friday it was delaying its annual earnings forecast to determine the impact of rising prices for raw materials. It expects to provide those estimates when it reports its half year results for January-June.

Bridgestone said it had raised its operating profit forecast for the half-year to June by 61% to JPY50bn (US$550m) on the back of brisk sales. Net income is now seen at JPY27bn, up from the previous JPY11bn estimate. Net sales are estimated at JPY1,360bn, up from JPY1,320bn.

Full details of Bridgestone’s estimates can be found here

In February, Bridgestone Corp reported a fall in full year net profits. However, the tyremaker said at the time, it was looking to recover in 2010.

The group reported a net profit of JPY1.04bn (US$11.3m) for the year, compared with a JPY10.41bn profit in 2008 a fall of 90%. Sales fell 20% to JPY2.597 trillion from JPY3.234 trillion, as weak tyre demand and the tough auto market combined to hit the group’s figures.