Cooper Tire & Rubber is citing higher raw material costs among the factors that led to a decline in net sales and operating profit in 2017. The company’s full year and fourth quarter earnings results came out this morning. They show Cooper posted net sales of $2.8 billion in 2017, down from $2.9 billion in 2016.

Operating profit declined from $384 million in 2016 to $272 million in 2017. That’s a drop of a little more than 29 percent.

In a statement, CEO Brad Hughes said, “Moving forward, we expect results to improve as our initiatives begin to take hold, and as underlying macro-conditions that favor tire industry growth have a positive impact. For 2018, we expect unit volume growth compared to 2017.”

As for the fourth quarter, Cooper posted $757 million in net sales, down from $784 million in the fourth quarter of 2016. Operating profit in the fourth quarter of the year amounted to $47 million, a decline of $58 million from the same time frame the previous year.

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