QUINCY, Ill. (Oct. 31, 2003) — High raw materials and employee benefit costs increased about $2.1 million from the third quarter in 2002, yet Titan International Inc. posted a smaller loss in this year's third quarter.
Titan posted a net loss of $13.4 million in the quarter, up from a net loss of $17.7 million last year. But the loss was deeper for the first nine months of the year, dipping to a loss of $27.4 million from a loss of $20.1 million in 2002.
Sales rose 6.2 percent for the quarter, to $111.2 million. Sales also increased 4.8 percent for the year-to-date to $371.2 million.
Quincy-based Titan recorded costs of about $1.7 million in the quarter relating to the company's consolidation of all tire manufacturing into its tire facility in Des Moines, Iowa. The company's Brownsville, Texas, plant continues as a distribution and warehouse center, though its production is suspended until market demand requires additional capacity, Titan said.
“Although the bottom line reflects the traditionally weaker third quarter, the operating results do show that Titan is moving in the right direction,” said Maurice Taylor Jr., president and CEO. “…Our cost-cutting measures and improvements in manufacturing efficiency, combined with a strengthening agricultural and construction economy, should result in a stronger position for the company in 2004.”