FINDLAY, Ohio (July 19, 2001)—Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. reported double-digit declines in net earnings for the second quarter and first half of fiscal 2001, but management said it is confident earnings will be “significantly stronger” in the second half based on improved pricing and a rebound in demand.
Second quarter net income fell 48.3 percent to $18.3 million as sales declined 6.5 percent to $829 million. For the six months ended June 30, earnings plunged 67 percent to $22 million and sales slid 12 percent to $1.59 billion.
Cooper's Tire Business Staff Reported growth of 6 percent in the quarter, to $433 million, as sales of the Cooper and Mastercraft brands surged 20 and 30 percent, respectively. Overall, unit sales were up 3 percent, Cooper said, or more than double the industry average.
Tire group operating profits fell 35.7 percent, despite $10 million in improvements related to pricing and product mix, Cooper said. Offsetting these gains were higher marginal production costs as the company attempted to reduce excess inventory and product liability expenses and litigation costs related to class action lawsuits. These actions reduced operating profit by approximately $16 million and $13 million, respectively.
“Although our sales results are down from last year´s record volume, this quarter was certainly a solid step in the right direction for Cooper,´´ said Thomas A. Dattilo, chairman, president and CEO, in a prepared statement.