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Cooper sets sales record: $1.1 billion

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Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. recorded net income of $220.3 million on record net sales of $4.2 billion for its fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2012. That compares to income of $253.5 million on sales of $3.9 billion for 2011.

The company's income-to-sales ratio was 5.2%, compared to 6.4% the previous fiscal year. Operating income increased 143%, from $163.3 million to nearly $397 million.

For the fourth quarter, Cooper posted net income of $73 million on record net sales of close to $1.1 billion. That compares to income of $209 million on sales of just over $1 billion for 2011.

(Cooper's net income in 4Q 2011 -- and, subsequently, fiscal 2011-- benefitted from the release of the valuation allowance on U.S. deferred tax assets in 4Q 2011. It was a one-time charge.)

Operating profit was a fourth-quarter record of $124 million, 108% higher than the previous year.

"A strong fourth quarter capped off a great year,” says CEO Roy Armes. “Cooper Tire closed 2012 with record fourth-quarter and full-year net sales and operating profit.

"Despite challenging global economic and industry conditions, our employees around the world continued to execute our strategic initiatives including diversifying our channel and product mix for light vehicle tires as well as expanding volumes in the truck-bus radial tire segment.

"Due in large part to successful product launches and demand for our products, the company has increased unit volumes and outpaced the industry in our key markets for the full year," he says.

Here's how Cooper's North American Tire business unit, which accounts for more than 70% of the company's net sales, performed year to year.

North American Tire segment (in billions, rounded)

Balance sheet          Fiscal 2012  Fiscal 2011  % change

Net sales:                  $3.1                $2.8               up 9%

Operating income:   $  .3                $  .1               up 284%

According to Armes, one of the International Tire business unit's achievements in 2012 was the completion of the purchase of tire manufacturing assets in Serbia, "a facility that has already produced its one millionth tire and was responsible for driving volume growth for the total International segment in the fourth quarter."

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