Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. posted a first quarter net loss of $12 million compared with net income of $7 million for the same period last year.
Cooper's unit sales during the first quarter of 2020 totaled $532 million, down 14.1% from the same period in 2019.
The company's first quarter unit volume dropped 15.8% from its 1Q 2019 volume.
The Findlay, Ohio-based tiremaker absorbed an operating loss of $6 million during 1Q 2020 versus an operating profit of $26 million achieved in 1Q 2019.
First quarter net sales in Cooper's Americas segment decreased 11.2% as a result of $61 million of lower unit volume and $1 million of unfavorable foreign currency impact, which were partially offset by $4 million of favorable price and mix.
For the quarter, the company's segment unit volume was down 11.9% compared to 1Q 2019.
Cooper’s first quarter total light vehicle tire shipments in the U.S. decreased 11.9% during the first quarter of 2020.
The manufacturer reported first quarter operating profit of $10 million, or 2.3% of its net sales versus $39 million, or 7.5% of net sales, for the same period in 2019.
"Operating profit included $14 million of lower unit volume, $19 million of unfavorable manufacturing and $11 million of higher restructuring costs," according to Cooper officials. "This was partially
offset by $10 million of favorable raw material costs and $5 million of price and mix."
“Cooper’s priorities during this unprecedented time have continued to be the health and safety of our
employees, responsibilities to our broader communities, and commitments to our customers as well as all other key stakeholders," says Cooper President and CEO Brad Hughes.
“We entered this challenging period caused by the global pandemic with a strong team and strategic plan, a solid cash position and borrowing capacity, appropriate inventory levels and a flexible global manufacturing footprint. Cooper was tracking well against our strategic initiatives and previously stated financial goals and had considerable momentum.
"In response to the coronavirus, we temporarily shut down our manufacturing plants for various periods of time while we continued to operate our distribution centers around the world," he says. "At the same time, we took several actions to improve liquidity. As we have communicated over recent weeks, our China, U.S. and Serbia manufacturing plants are back in operation. These facilities will continue to ramp up as conditions improve."
Cooper's U.K. and Mexico facilities remain temporarily closed.
“Overall, we believe Cooper is in a good position to benefit when the economy recovers. Over the past two years, we have transformed our company into a consumer-driven organization with Cooper products now more available where consumers want to buy tires.
"We believe that our value proposition -- high quality tires at an affordable price -- will be even more compelling for consumers in the future economy, and our heritage of manufacturing tires in the U.S. for U.S. drivers will become even more important coming out of this period of uncertainty. Our research suggests consumer confidence in the Cooper brand is growing, and we believe that we stand to be a consumer tire partner of choice.”
At the end of the first quarter, Cooper reported that it had $433 million in unrestricted cash and cash equivalents, compared with $212 million in 2019. To maximize financial flexibility, the company drew down $270 million on its revolving credit facilities during the quarter.