Selling more high-profit tires and controlling costs, Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. increased profit 17 percent last quarter to $69 million, the company reported today.
Earnings amounted to $1.28 per diluted share.
Sales increased 1 percent to $783 million in the October-December quarter. Cooper sold 7.7 percent more tires.
Cooper Tire’s operating profit margin grew to a record 13.4 percent.
Cooper will press on with its strategy.
“In the U.S., our manufacturing teams continue to modernize our facilities to support growth in demand for tires with larger rim sizes and other higher-margin products,” said Brad Hughes, chief executive officer.
Cooper probably still draws a smaller percentage of its business from higher value tires than its peers, Hughes said.
That’s a good thing, he said.
“We just have more room to grow at this point relative to where the rest of the industry is. We look at that down the road as a net positive contributor to Cooper,” Hughes said.
For the entire 2016 year, Cooper’s profit climbed 17 percent to $248 million, or $4.51 per diluted share.
Sales for the year declined 1.6 percent from a year earlier to $2.92 billion.