QUINCY, Ill (May 1, 2003) — Titan International Inc. reported a loss of $5.9 million on net sales of $129 million for the first quarter of 2003, compared with a loss of $2.9 million on sales of $123.7 million for the year-earlier period.
Titan's first-quarter numbers were negatively impacted by higher raw material prices, combined with increased employee benefit and insurance costs accounting for more than $4 million in additional expenditures compared with the first quarter last year, said Maurice Taylor Jr., Titan president and CEO.
Planned price increases and further efficiencies should result in improved margins for Titan products, while the company also will continue its pursuit of unconventional sales channels, he said.
“These measures will help Titan withstand the economic pressure expected to persist throughout 2003 in the company's three market segments: agricultural, earthmoving/construction and consumer,” Mr. Taylor said.
Sales in the company's agricultural and earthmoving/construction segments were up primarily due to currency exchange rate fluctuations, Titan said. Consumer segment sales were down because of lower sales to boat trailer manufacturers.