FINDLAY, Ohio (May 7, 2008) — Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.'s first quarter profits plunged 91.9 percent as a result of high raw material costs, increased product liability costs and decreased volumes—although the firm stayed in the black with a profit of $1.69 million.
Cooper posted net profits of $1.69 million for the quarter, compared to $20.8 million for the same period last year. In late April Cooper warned that its most recent quarter would be considerably below expectations because of the difficult economy.
Net sales for the quarter rose 1.5 percent to $679.3 million. The sales increase was driven by volume increases in the international segment, the company said. But operating income fell 67.2 percent to $9.55 million.
In Cooper's North American Tire segment, sales fell 3.4 percent to $497.7 million from $515.1 million a year ago. The segment's profit also fell 69.6 percent to $8.14 million from $26.8 million in 2007.
The tire maker said the sales decrease resulted from lower unit volumes partially offset by improved product mix. Cooper saw the largest volume decreases in its economy passenger and light truck tire segments.