Improved pricing in North America and global sales growth has enabled Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. to post net income of USD30.2m during the third quarter compared with a loss of USD25m last year.

Income from discontinued operations contributed USD12.4m for the quarter ended Sept. 30. Operating profit improved to USD32.7m compared with an operating loss of USD5.1m during the same 2006 period.

Sales for the quarter rose 11 percent to a record USD767.7m.
In the North American tyre segment, sales jumped 10 percent to USD576.3 million. The company said its international tyre operations had sales of USD235.9m in the quarter, an increase of 22 percent over the third quarter of 2006.

"North America had another quarter of dramatically improved operating profit, and our international segment has continued its impressive growth," said Cooper President and CEO Roy Armes. "This global growth has been accompanied by an improved balance sheet as our margins improve, and we continue to focus on inventory management."

Mr Armes said the company expects to continue to see operational improvements and low inventory levels in the fourth quarter.

For the nine-month period, Cooper posted net income of USD68.6m on sales of USD2.17bn. Income is up from a loss of USD50.9m in the same period last year.