Cooper CEO Looks to Second Half with Confidence

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Looking ahead to the rest of 2020, "we are confident the second half will be better than the first half," says Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. President and CEO Brad Hughes.

"I would say that what we saw in July was a continuation of the rebound we saw toward the end of the second quarter - and I would say that was for the industry and it certainly was for Cooper," Hughes told analysts during the tire manufacturer's second quarter earnings call on Aug. 3.

"I think what we've seen so far is a continuation of the momentum we've been talking about since the fourth quarter of last year. If we can continue to perform the way we've been performing... I would think we're in a position to outperform the market in the U.S."

Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. experienced a net loss of $6 million during the second quarter of 2020 versus net income of $9 million during the same period last year. During 2Q 2020, Cooper’s net sales fell 26.9% to $496 million. (For more details, read MTD's earlier report here.)

Despite these losses, Hughes said that the company's 2Q results "materially exceeded our expectations. Cooper made notable progress in several key areas," including market share growth in the U.S. and the execution of strategic initiatives that "are driving the transformation of our business."

During the call, Hughes also provided an update on Cooper's manufacturing operations, noting that all of the company's plants are up and running and are ramping up production, which he said "continued to increase during the month of June. We still have some room to go in terms of the ramp-up. But we're getting close to normal."

And he reported that "awareness" of the Cooper brand is "growing. One of the things that may be happening as a result of the COVID-19 situation is that people are becoming more value-conscious. We do believe that may be one thing that has changed a little bit - putting more focus on value brands like Cooper. It fits very, very well with the value we provide to consumers."

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