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Goodyear to Eliminate 7,200 Jobs
Associated Press
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AKRON, Ohio — Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., suffering from higher costs and a stronger euro, reported a fourth-quarter loss Wednesday of $102 million and announced plans to eliminate 7,200 jobs this year.

Samir G. Gibara, chairman and chief executive officer of the tire maker, said the cuts and the elimination of 3,500 jobs last year would mean a total two-year reduction of 10,700 positions, or 10 percent of Goodyear's work force.

The tire maker's loss in the fourth-quarter amounted to 65 cents per share on sales of $3.5 billion, compared with fourth-quarter 1999 earnings of $37 million, or 23 cents per share, on sales of $3.6 billion.

The latest round of cuts will represent 6.8 percent of Goodyear's work force of 105,000, according to Keith Price, a company spokesman.

Price said the cuts will occur around the world and will include layoffs, attrition and retirements. No breakdown has been decided, he said.

Goodyear expects savings this year of $150 million from the cuts, and annual savings of about $250 million a year beginning in 2002, Gibara said.

Goodyear's latest quarterly results include $93.7 million in charges as part of its plan to trim its work force.

"The severe decline in original equipment demand for tires and engineered products in North America and the very soft winter tire market in Europe had a substantial impact on our fourth-quarter results," Gibara said.

"Unrelenting high costs for raw materials, especially for oil-derived products, continued to depress our results. Additionally, the euro's value versus the U.S. dollar was a negative factor throughout the quarter," Gibara said.

For the year, Goodyear earned $40.3 million, or 26 cents a share, on record sales of $14.4 billion, compared with 1999 profits of $243.2 million, or $1.55 per share, on sales of $13.3 billion.

Goodyear shipped 55.7 million tires in the fourth quarter, up 1 million or 1.8 percent, and 223.3 million for the year, up 22.8 million or 11.4 percent.

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