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Goodyear Loss Widens on Skidding Tire Unit

Its North American tire segment has an operating loss of $61.5 million.

Goodyear

(GT) - Get Report

reported a wider first-quarter loss due to weakness in its North American tire business.

The company lost $163.3 million, or 93 cents a share, compared with a loss of $63.2 million, or 39 cents a share, in the prior-year quarter. Results included a restructuring charge of $65.2 million, or 37 cents a share, after taxes for severance and other costs.

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The company said the North American tire unit, its largest unit, had an operating loss of $61.5 million, and that improved results in its six other businesses couldn't offset that loss. "While North American Tire continues to struggle, we see room for optimism," said Robert J. Keegan, chief executive. "We are aggressively cutting costs to make this business competitive, and we are encouraged by market share gains in this unit compared to the fourth quarter of 2002. We have much work left to do, but our turnaround is on track."

Sales were $3.5 billion, up 7.1%. Tire unit volume in the first quarter of 2003 was 52.6 million units, down from 53.0 million units in the 2002 period. Revenue increased primarily due to the impact of $139 million in currency translation and price increases, the company said. Lower tire unit volume also had a negative impact on sales.

Shares of the Akron, Ohio-based company closed at $5.95 Tuesday on the

New York Stock Exchange

.