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Cooper Tire And Rubber's CEOs Discuss 1Q 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Also, in the first quarter we closed a deal to purchase the tire manufacturing assets in Krusevac, Serbia. We're excited about the potential that this plant has to expand our international business, and also to strengthen our global manufacturing net worth.

During the first quarter we had net income attributable to Cooper Tire and Rubber Company of $22 million or $0.34 a share including the impact to the work stoppage. This compares to net income of $16 million or $0.25 a share in the first quarter of 2011. The consolidated net sales were $984 million for the first quarter up 9% versus the first quarter of 2011. This increase was primarily driven by higher prices, and volumes were down slightly for the total company.

Where unit volumes were down 3% for the North American segment and up 8% for the international segment. Our shipment volumes declined 6.1% in the United States for light vehicle tires which is in line with the industry shipments which were down 5.8% for the quarter. And for the industry and Cooper, Broadline and Value Tire shipments continue to be weak.

We were able to offset this by outperforming the industry in most other segments including light truck and UHP. We believe that pinup demand continues to exist for Broadline and Value Tires however, it's extremely difficult to predict when and how that demand will manifest.

Now within the international segment Asian volumes increased while European volumes decreased. The increase in volume in Asia was a combination of moderate growth in the domestic TBR market as well as continued successful efforts to expand distribution and supply of light vehicle tires in the Chinese market.

The decrease in European demand reflects continued weak industry conditions in several key European markets. Operating profit for the first quarter was $48 million or 4.8% of net sales compared with $32 million or 3.6% for the same period last year. The North American segment operating profit was $23 million or 3.3% of net sales, and international segment operating profit was $33 million or 8.1% of net sales.

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