FINDLAY, Ohio (March 2, 2010)—Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. rebounded for a $219.4 million loss in 2008 to report net income of $51.8 millino for 2009, while sales fell 3.6 percent to $2.78 billion.
The year-end earnings were aided by a 21.6-percent jump in fourth-quarter sales to $773 million that ended the period with profits of $39.2 million, compared with a fourth-quarter loss of $143.5 million in 2008.
The results included income of $6 million from discontinued operations during the quarter, the Findlay-based tire maker said.
The improved quarterly results were driven by lower raw material costs, improved volumes and increased utilization of manufacturing capacity, according to Cooper. However, these factors were partially offset by unfavorable price and mix.
Fourth-quarter sales for Cooper's North American Tire Operations climbed 10.7 percent to $565.6 million, generating segment profits of $39 million, compared with a $109.1 million loss in the year-ago period. For the year, the North American segment reported a $110.9 million net income, compared with a $174.1 million loss in 2008, despite sales slipping 6.3 percent to $2 billion.
Total light vehicle tire shipments for Cooper's North America segment in the U.S. increased 22 percent, outpacing the total industry shipment increase of 7 percent reported by the Rubber Manufacturers Association, according to Cooper. The tire maker said the higher shipments occurred across all product segments, helping it to increase its market share in the replacement market.