Findlay, Ohio - Improved pricing led to â€œdramaticallyâ€ higher earnings as Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. reported a profit of $119.6 million (Euro 78.6 million) in 2007, up from a loss of $78.5 million in 2006.
The Findlay-based tyre maker also made gains in the fourth quarter, improving to net income of $51 million from a net loss of $27.6 million the prior period.
Sales in both periods also increased, rising 13.9 percent to $2930 million for the year and 7 percent to $765.1 million for the quarter.
Cooper's North American Tire operation also posted sales increases. The division's sales rose 10.8 percent to $2200 million in 2007 and 4.3 percent to $585.3 million in the fourth quarter. The business also swung to a profit in both periods. Net income for the year reached $119.4 million, up from a loss of $39.5 million in 2006. Profits hit $45 million in the quarter vs. a net loss of $11.4 million the prior period.
The tyre maker said improved pricing and better margins contributed to its North American results as well as a $26.5 million gain on its sale of Oliver Rubber Co. to Michelin North America Inc.
â€œIn the fourth quarter we continued our momentum and delivered another strong quarter,â€ said Chairman and CEO Roy Armes. â€œThis effective execution allowed us to deliver on promises to improve the bottom line of the company. The $100 million in cost savings that we had pledged to achieve was realised, and we continued to position ourselves for improvement in 2008. The North American operations delivered revenue growth against a very strong comparable fourth quarter of 2006, and the manufacturing operations continued to see sequential improvements,â€ he added.
From Tire Business (A Crain publication)