Cooper Sales, Profits Up for Quarter
(Akron/Tire Review/T&A) Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. posted record second quarter sales and quarterly and first half profits. Cooper’s quarterly sales hit US$751 million, up 20 per cent from the same period last year, and first half sales finished at $1.4 billion. Net income from second quarter sales were $17.6 million, up from a loss of $21 for the second quarter of 2006. For the first half, Cooper posted net income of $38 million, up from a loss of $26 million through the first six months of 2006.
Cooper said its North American tyre operations reported sales of $554 million in the quarter, up 20 per cent versus $463 million in the second quarter of 2006. The tyremaker said the increase was driven by improved pricing, increased unit sales across all market segments, and strong sales of private brand tyres. Operating profit for the unit was $23 million, compared to a net loss of $30 million in the second quarter last year. For the first six months of 2007, North American operations generated $51 million of operating profit on $1.09 billion of sales, up $36 million in profit year over year.
The company’s International Tire Operations reported sales of $234 million in the quarter, an increase of 26 per cent compared to the second quarter of 2006. Cooper Europe experienced another all-time record quarter as sales increased by 13 per cent. The segment’s sales in Asia increased by 31 per cent, driven by a 15 per cent increase in unit sales and favorable pricing improvements over the same period last year. Operating profit for international operations was $11.7 million in the second quarter of 2007 compared to $7.7 million a year earlier. The segment increased operating profit on stronger sales and improved pricing, partially offset by higher raw material costs and selling, general and administrative costs. Production continued to ramp up at the Cooper-Kenda joint venture plant opened in China during the year’s first quarter.
Non-recurring income from the sale of land at the Cooper Tire Europe facility contributed $2.2 million for the quarter. During the first half of the year operating profit for the international segment improved to $18 million. This is a $7 million increase over the same period in 2006. The segment also experienced a 34 per cent increase in net sales during the six month period ended June 30, 2007, from $311 million last year to a current figure of $417 million.
“We believe we can maintain the momentum we have established in the first half of 2007,” Cooper President and CEO Roy Armes said. “There are always concerns or risks, regarding raw material costs, which are at high levels and trending upward, as well as economic and industry effects, but we expect pricing in the market will continue to be rational.”