Lower Demand, High Raw Material Prices Pinch Cooper’s Q1 Numbers

4/30/18 – 7:29 A.M.

Cooper Tire & Rubber’s sales and income slid in the first quarter of this year. The Findlay-based company reports $8 million in net income earned between January and the end of March. That’s down from $31 million during the first quarter of 2017.

Net sales fell from $643 million to $601 million. That’s a decline of 6.5 percent. Cooper’s operating profit also fell during the first three months of the year, from $58 million last year to $26 million this year.

CEO Brad Hughes says “the decrease in our first quarter operating profit, adjusted for one-time items, was more than explained by weaker volume and higher manufacturing costs as we made production adjustments to keep our inventories in line with current market conditions.” He added they tire business as a whole is experiencing weaker demand and higher raw material costs.

While overall numbers are down, the international tire operations are trending up. The international segment posted $161 million in net sales in the first quarter of this year, compared to $142 million last year. International tire operations operating profit rose to $7 million from $3 million. That’s a 145 percent increase.