Bridgestone Corp aims to boost annual profit by 80 percent and sales by a fifth over the next five years as it steps up its quest to be the world's biggest tire maker.

Bridgestone, which vies with France's Michelin for the title of global industry leader, said it would boost investment by 16 percent to increase its tire production and distribution network.

It is aiming for an operating profit of 400 billion yen ($3.5 billion) by 2012, up from a forecast 215 billion yen this year.

Sales are expected to climb to 4 trillion yen from 3.4 trillion yen. That represents an operating margin target of 10 percent compared to 6.4 percent in 2006.

Tires are internationally recognized products, and unlike industries where regional differences matter, this industry is one where scale matters, Chief Executive Shoshi Arakawa told a news conference.

The company, which also announced new spending of 32 billion yen to expand output of large Tires in Japan, has ratcheted up its capital investment in recent years. It said it planned to spend an average of 250 billion yen annually until 2012, compared with an average of 216 billion yen a year in the previous five-year period.

Bridgestone has been growing fast thanks to aggressive sales overseas of high-end tire products, but soaring prices for rubber and oil have put profits under pressure across the industry.