FINDLAY, Ohio—Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.'s net income of $212.8 million for 2015 was on par with the previous year, despite a 13.2 percent drop in sales to $2.97 billion.
Findlay-based Cooper reported an operating profit of $354 million, an 18 percent increase over 2014. The tire maker noted that the 2014 results included a gain of $56 million net of tax in the fourth quarter of 2014 from the sale of the company's former Cooper Chengshan Tire joint venture in China.
Excluding CCT, Cooper's net sales increased 3.3 percent compared with 2014, and unit volume rose 6.8 percent, driven by an increase in all regions. A record operating profit represented a 59 percent increase over the prior year, the company said.
“It was an exciting year for Cooper as we took numerous steps around the globe to continue to transform and enhance our business,” said Roy Armes, Cooper Chairman, CEO and president who plans to retire in August, according to a company news release.
“Our fourth quarter and full year performance was very strong, with unit volume increases in all regions and excellent operating profit. In fact, our full year operating margin of nearly 12 percent exceeded the 8 to 10 percent that we established as a mid-term goal for Cooper,” Armes continued.
“We continued to execute our strategic plan and invest in operations around the globe to improve our competitive position. Specifically, we invested in modernizing and enhancing our facilities and continued to invest in technology and product innovation. We are seeing a return on these investments as Cooper moves upstream, selling more high value, high margin products. In addition, we continued to return cash to shareholders through share repurchases and our ongoing dividend.”