FRANKFURT, Germany-Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. again laid claim to being the most profitable major tire maker, reporting a net earnings/sales ratio of 9.2 percent, double that of the next most profitable-Goodyear at4.6 percent. Goodyear's net earnings of $567 million, however, were the highest in absolute value. Groupe Michelin and Bridgestone Corp. both improved their net earnings/sales ratio to 2 percent of sales: Michelin reversing a loss from 1993; Bridgestone advancing 12 percent.
Continental A.G., Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd., Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. and Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd. all finished the year with net/sales ratios of less than 1 percent.
Sumitomo's net was off 77 percent from 1993 largely as a result of a loss in North America caused by the three-month strike by workers at Dunlop Tire Corp.
Yokohama topped the sales/employee ranking at $279,350, followed by Sumitomo Rubber at $216,386 and Cooper Tire at $179,552.
Michelin trailed the pack in this respect at $103,333, although this is a considerable improvement over 1993 considering an 8.3-percent drop in the number of employees and a 6.2-percent increase in sales.