Findlay, Ohio—Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. has posted a 29.6% year-on-year increase in third quarter operating income to $110.4 million, on net sales 2.3% lower at $734 million.
The earnings hike for the three months to 30 Sept, was linked to lower product liability costs, a non-cash pension settlement charge and other reduced costs, said a 30 Oct press release.
Cooper reported 31.3% volume growth in ‘international’ markets, led by Asia. This, however, was cancelled out by a 7.5% drop in the Americas to leave overall unit volume down 2% year-on-year.
The third-quarter volume decline reflected “continued challenges” within the tire industry, said Brad Hughes, Cooper’s president & CEO in the press release. Negative factors, he noted, included raw material costs, weak retail sales to consumers, elevated inventories, as well as the hurricanes in Texas and Florida.
"We are addressing the unit volume decline, which was partially the result of the ongoing reduction in our private brand business, by expanding into additional channels with new positions in the car dealer and e-commerce channels, as well as new OE fitments that we will announce in the future,” said Hughes.