Cooper posts losses for 2008

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Cooper posts losses for 2008

Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. posted net sales of $2.9 billion on net losses of $219 million for the full year of 2008. Sales were "down slightly" from 2007 levels, according to Cooper officials. The company posted net income of $91 million from continuing operations during 2007.

Cooper posted net sales of $636 million on a loss of $143 million during the fourth quarter of 2008. The sales total represented a $130 million decrease from 2007 levels.

Cooper's results during the quarter included pretax restructuring charges of $76 million related to the impending closure of its plant in Albany, Ga. The company also took a $31 million pretax charge for "impairment of goodwill" in its international segment, say Cooper officials.

"Results were pressured by high raw material cost increases and production curtailments as the company manages inventory alignment with demand."

Cooper's North American Tire unit generated sales of $511 million during the fourth quarter, down from the same period in 2007. The unit suffered an operating loss of $109 million during the quarter.

Sales were impacted "by weak demand in North America as consumers reacted to the credit crisis and increased gas prices," say company officials.

"The most significant volume decreases were in the broadline and light truck product segments and were particularly acute in the private brand distributor channel." However, the company "had success in expanding its market presence in Mexico and Canada."

Operating profit for Cooper's North American Tire unit declined during the fourth quarter as a result of several factors, including raw material costs, which affected results by $79 million, and volume decreases.

Production curtailments also results in unabsorbed fixed overhead totaling $20 million during the period.




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