Cooper tire sales rise in second quarter

July 19, 2001

Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.'s Tire Group recorded a 6% increase in net sales compared to the same period last year. The $433 million sales total was a company record.

Cooper officials credit the increase to "unit volume growth that more than doubled that of the industry."

Overall, Cooper Tire's second quarter net sales were $829 million, a 7% drop from the same period last year.

Net income for the quarter was $18 million, a 48% drop from the previous year. Its operating profit was $49 million, a 41% decrease from the second quarter of 2000.

"Realized price increases and improved product mix contributed over $10 million to operating profits," said the company in its second-quarter report. "This improvement was more than off-set, however, by higher marginal production costs as efforts to reduce excess inventory continued through the quarter."

The company says its Cooper brand sales grew more than 20% and its Mastercraft brand sales increased nearly 30% during the second quarter.

However, Cooper's Oliver Retreading Systems division lost "hundreds of thousands of dollars," according to Cooper Chairman and CEO Tom Dattilo.

Dattilo is optimistic about the third quarter. "We're on track with our restructuring plan. That will have a positive impact on our results."

And Cooper's recent purchase of Hercules Tire & Rubber Co.'s retread assets "will largely off-set" losses caused by major client Treadco's defection to Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. to form Wingfoot Commercial Tire Systems LLC last year.

"We also will see a positive impact from price increases announced earlier this year."

"Potential negatives," according to Dattilo, include greater-than-anticipated tire market "softening" and possible light vehicle production drops.

"Earnings in the second half of the year should be significantly stronger than in the first half," he says.