FINDLAY, Ohio (Nov. 10, 2008) — Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. reported losses of $55 million for the third quarter and $76 million for the first nine months of 2008, despite posting its highest sales yet.
Sales rose 3.4 percent to $794 million for the quarter and 3.6 percent to $2.2 billion for the longer period.
Record high raw material prices, increasing utility costs and production cutbacks because of raw material shortages created by Gulf Coast hurricanes caused Cooper's weak financial showing, according to Cooper CEO Roy Armes and other company executives during a Nov. 7 teleconference.
Cooper increased its market share in Canada and Mexico despite decreased tire unit volumes in the U.S., Armes said. Also, the company's Cooper Kenda Tire joint venture in China ramped up faster than expected, achieving a production milestone of 10,000 tires per day during the third quarter. Cooper's international tire operations had record sales during the quarter, totaling $285 million, according to the company.
Cooper continues to focus on the long-term goals of its strategic plan, according to Armes.
“The pillars of our plan include establishing a sustainable and cost-competitive supply of tires, profitably growing our business, and enhancing our organizational capabilities to continue providing excellent value and service to our customers,” he said.
Armes also said the company expects to complete its capacity study by mid-January. The investigation could result in the closure of one of its four U.S. tire plants.