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Cooper Tire unit sales decline 18% in first quarter

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Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. reported an operating profit of $25 million for the first quarter of 2001, despite an 18% drop in tire unit sales and a 22% drop in automotive component sales.

"This has been a very difficult quarter," said Thomas A. Dattilo, Cooper chairman, president and CEO, "especially in contrast to the record breaking first quarter of last year."

Sales for the quarter were $758 million, down nearly 18% compared to $922 million a year earlier.

Cooper Tire sales were $388 million for the quarter, down $57 million or 13%. Tire unit sales declined 18%.

Declines were blamed on a soft replacement tire market in North America and the "exceptional volumes Cooper achieved last year," the company said.

At Cooper-Standard Automotive, sales were $377 million for the quarter, down $108 million or 22%.

Lower sales volumes, higher raw material costs, high energy costs and charges for litigation and product liability provisions which totaled approximately $19 million contributed to the declines, the company added.

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