FINDLAY, Ohio (April 17)—Soft replacement tire demand in North America helped push Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.'s first-quarter net income down 41.9 percent from the same period in 2002. Cooper posted net income of $15.2 million in the quarter on sales of $794.8 million compared to net income of $26.1 million and sales of $813 million in last year's period. Net sales for Cooper's tire operations fell 8.7 percent to $395.9 million in the quarter, down from $433.4 million in 2002, as unit volume slid 11 percent. In contrast, sales and operating profits improved in the company's automotive group operations as a result of new business in North America and Europe, favorable foreign currency exchange rates and the positive impact of restructuring and cost savings, Cooper said. Net sales for Cooper-Standard Automotive grew 4.7 percent to $404.2 million, while operating profits improved 7.9 percent to $23.1 million.
Cooper sales, earnings dip in first quarter
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