Cooper will remain 'guarded,' says CEO Armes

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"Developments in the macroeconomic environment have caused us to be guarded in our expectations of profitability for 2008 and to reduce our capital expenditure plans for the year," says Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. CEO Roy Armes.


Despite the challenging economic environment, Cooper "is still committed to the long term goals we established in our stragetic plan. These include establishing a sustainable and cost-competitive supply of tires, profitably growing our busines, and enhancing our organizational capabilities."


Armes says Cooper's focus on improving its cost efficiencies "has intensified even further, with our execution of automation projects and the deployment of resources to implement a lean Six Sigma culture.


"This includes the training of 50 full-time (Six Sigma) black belts during the year who will be working on projects that reduce waste within our facilities. We also are excited about (our) recently announced investment in Mexico, as it is an excellent source of high quality, cost competitive tires to support sales in Mexico, the United States and Canada.


"While we recognize that we are facing strong headwinds as an industry," he continues, "the actions we are taking will prepare us to capitalize on future opportunities."


Yesterday, Cooper reported that it suffered a net loss of $22 million during the second quarter, which ended June 30. However, the company achieved record sales of $773 million during the same period.



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