The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company reported record first quarter sales and its highest first quarter net income in several years.

Goodyear's first quarter 2008 sales were $4.9 billion, a 10 percent increase compared with the 2007 quarter. The company says it was able to offset lower volumes with "higher prices, a richer product mix and favorable currency translation."

Improved pricing and product mix in all four businesses drove revenue per tire up 7 percent over the 2007 quarter, reflecting the company's strategy to focus on high-value-added tires. Lower volume primarily resulted from weak original equipment markets in North America as well as soft consumer replacement demand in North America and Europe, particularly for low-value-added tires.

"While the economy remains a concern, we continue to be confident about the opportunities we see in the market and our ability to take advantage of them," said Robert J. Keegan, chairman and CEO. "Over the last five years, our strategic decisions have better positioned Goodyear to face an economic downturn and to emerge as a stronger competitor."

Goodyear said it made additional progress during the first quarter on its plan to achieve $1.8 billion to $2 billion in gross cost savings by the end of 2009. "We have now achieved more than $1.2 billion in savings since beginning this plan and remain on target to reach our four-year goal," Keegan said.

First quarter 2008 net income from continuing operations was $147 million (60 cents per share). This compares to a loss from continuing operations of $110 million (61 cents per share) in the year-ago quarter. Including discontinued operations, Goodyear had a net loss of $174 million (96 cents per share) in 2007's first quarter.

The 2008 quarter included after-tax financing fees related to debt repayment of $43 million (18 cents per share), $13 million (5 cents per share) in after-tax rationalization charges, an after-tax gain on asset sales of $33 million (13 cents per share) and an after-tax gain on an excise tax settlement in Latin America of $8 million (3 cents per share).

The 2007 quarter was impacted by after-tax charges of $64 million (35 cents per share) due to salaried benefit plan changes, an estimated $34 million (19 cents per share) related to the 2006 United Steelworkers strike and $31 million (17 cents per share) in rationalization and accelerated depreciation charges.