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Economy and Business

Goodyear CEO optimistic at shareholders meeting
Europe drags down company earnings but CEO sees growth in Eastern Europe and Middle East

Mark Urycki
Goodyear Chairman and CEO Rich Kramer at Monday's annual shareholders meeting.
Courtesy of Goodyear
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Akron-based Goodyear will announce its first quarter results next week. The company had to pull back on its earnings projections for 2013 but the company chairman and CEO is optimistic for the long term. WKSU’s Mark Urycki reports.

Urycki on Goodyear's global picture

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At Goodyear’s annual shareholders’ meeting, Chairman Richard Kramer said the global tire maker is well poised for growth even in an uncertain economic world.

Last year, the company opened a plant in China and this month workers in France filed suit after the company walked away from a plant there. Goodyear's Asian and Latin American segments did well but Europe, immersed in austerity programs, is still in recession. So the company has been working to squeeze more profits out of slower sales worldwide, and the North American tire segment blew well past its earnings target last year.

”We delivered these results in a challenging market with high raw material costs and weak consumer demand that mimicked what we experienced during the Great Recession.”

Kramer was also bullish on Akron. The meeting was held in a Fairlawn hotel because the usual venue – the Goodyear Theater -- has been sold and is being developed into apartments. The company sold its old campus and just finished a move into a new world headquarters next to its R&D center in Akron.

“It represents our commitment to Akron and northeast Ohio, not just to the Akron of old but to a revitalized and progressive Akron that continues to evolve and prosper in groundbreaking ways.”

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